Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Rest - patterns of life

God has built rest into the normal patterns of life. There’s a daily pattern. It includes that moment when you put your head on a pillow. It’s called sleep. I love sleep. I don’t see it as a distraction from work. Eight hours. Wonderful. It’s physical rest and even better for me, it’s mental rest. I like the moment when it all goes away and when I open my eyes it’s morning and I’m refreshed.

There’s also a weekly pattern. God wants us to have at least one 24 hour break each week. I have to confess that I like other slots of rest in the week as well. And there are annual patterns. There are seasons and there are slots of rest built into those seasons – I suggest that they are called holidays!

I meet so many pastors who don’t take their holidays! I have had this issue sometimes with some of my team members and I really stress to them how important this is. This is not a problem of the work ethic of Christian workers. We are totally committed to what God has called us to do, but we can get out of shape if we don’t address the patterns of our work. In my contract of employment I have a sabbatical every seven years. Excellent! That’s three month’s rest. Sorry, I mean study and reflection…

Remember, I’m not saying that we aren’t going to work hard. I’m not saying that we’re not going to build big churches. I’m not saying that we’re not going to touch nations. I’m arguing that if, as a movement, we build a culture of biblical rest - then we’ll be more fruitful.