How to take a Sabbath? If a leader is serious about being healthy and living life in sync with the rhythms that God built into our world by taking a Sabbath rest every seven days, then they must prepare for it during the other six days.
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Christians are falling into the trap of busyness
In her book, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, Ruth Haley Barton notes that Christians have sadly assimilated the culture of busyness, hurry, and overload so prevalent in the western world. What is worse is that Christian leaders and pastors are as caught up in the culture of busyness as anyone else. We’re the ones who are called to encourage God’s people to give in to their need for rest and to use the space to turn towards God, but we cannot because we are bound by busyness chains.
Sabbath-keeping frees us from the bondage of busyness
How do we find freedom from our busyness bondage? It is by establishing rhythms of life that replenish our bodies, minds, and souls. God has ordained that Sabbath-keeping is a lynchpin of these rhythms. It is a discipline that is hard to live.
How to take a Sabbath? Plan for It Throughout the Week
In learning how to take a Sabbath, I have found the only way to protect it is to plan for it. During the other six days in the week, I work hard. Those six days are full so the seventh one isn’t. Work has a horrible habit of filling whatever time you give it. If you give it all seven days, then you may get the same amount done in more time. In other words, your efficiency suffers. You may, for example, procrastinate more, eating up your Sabbath day, but not really getting the benefit that a full day off gives you. I work hard at planning and organising my work so that it gets done in six days, leaving the seventh for rest and relaxation.
This also extends to housework and other chores. It maybe that you get rest and relaxation from vacuuming or ironing (or many other housework tasks that need doing). I don’t! So, my wife Gail and I try to ensure all those things are done before Saturday and our Sabbath. Decide on what can’t you do on Sabbath day and then ensure those tasks are done during the week.
What have you learned about how to take a Sabbath and working in the pattern of working God designed for us all?
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