Take a Rest from the Busyness

October 8, 2011

Just a couple days ago I wrote a post about working more productively ( If you did not get a chance to read it you can do so by clicking here). One of my points in this post was that in order to work productively we need to be getting plenty of rest. Our minds will eventually wear down if we are not getting enough sleep and this will ruin our productivity.

I wanted to revisit this topic of rest. Most of last year I worked two jobs. I worked at a home for mentally handicap adults for a few months and then I worked at a daycare from January to August. During both of those jobs I was working as a part time Youth Minister. Everything was going well for a while but it did not take long for the lack of rest to catch up with me.

I was placing my priorities in all the wrong places. I began to give my family less time and attention because when I came home I just wanted to crash. I started just going through the motions of life without thinking about what I was doing. There was no evaluation of work, and sometimes no emotion, good or bad, toward anything with which I was involved.

This is a dangerous place to be finding yourself. God gave us a perfect example in the very beginning when after creating six days He rested one. One of the commands God gave to His people Israel was to “remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” There are several examples in the New Testament of Jesus pulling away from the crowds or His disciples so that He could rest. We have so many examples in Scripture showing us the importance of rest, it is crazy for us to think we do not need it.

In our busy world, taking a day off is not always looked upon in a good light. We need to work another day to keep above the competition. Our phones and other devices keep us plugged in to the world 24/7 giving us no time to rest. Eventually we will become worn out and all the areas of our lives will suffer, as will the people closest to us.

What can we do to guard against exhaustion? I have a few ideas.

Get plenty of sleep. I know I am recycling this one but it is so important. I had a roommate in college who waited until late a night to start a project and would not sleep during the night. His work was not the best it could have been had he started earlier and been spending his nights sleeping. Get to bed and let your mind rest. Come at your projects the next day with a refreshed mind and body.

Take a day off weekly. Find a day that works to take off every single week. It does not have to be Saturday. I know many ministers who choose to take a day off during the week rather than Saturday. That’s fine, but find a day and stick to it. Let those you work with know your day off and take it completely off. Turn off your cell phone if you have to, do not check your email. Step away from work and enjoy time with family and friends.

Spend some time refreshing several days a week. I have begun getting up earlier so that I will have time everyday to myself. I eat breakfast and do some writing. It is an activity that I enjoy, and it helps me to relax. Find something you enjoy (reading, writing, working out, etc..) and do it for 30 minutes to an hour everyday. This will help keep you refreshed.

Spend some time in Scripture and prayer each day. As a Christian I find this one to be very important. God speaks to us through His word and we get an opportunity to speak to Him through prayer. Let His word guide your life and take your requests to Him and let Him know what is on your heart. God will guide us when we let Him. This can help set our life on the right track and help us work and rest better.

Runners know the importance of rest. If a runner runs a difficult workout every single day they will suffer from exhaustion and possibly other injuries. This is why they take a day off or take days to run at a slower pace or less mileage. Our lives are much the same. We cannot go, go, go without ever taking the time to slow down and rest without suffering major consequences. May we all take time to step back from the busyness of life and rest.

What do you do to help yourself rest? Do you have designated time off and how do you guard it?


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