Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Rest - the delusion of the slower day coming

Again, please note, I’m not speaking against hard work. Work is good. I work hard. If I listed my responsibilities you might become tired just listening to them. Many of us might be tempted to think that there is a slower day coming. It isn’t. In fact, there is more work coming. There is a vision for 1000 churches. There are the major cities of the earth to be touched and reached. There’s the poor to care for. There’s a culture of constant change. In fact there will be more to do in the next two decades than we’ve done in the last 50 years and I’m suggesting that we will only be able to do it if we rest well.

I hope I’ve got your attention. I hope you can relate to this.

So – why do we find this so difficult? You know about icebergs. You see only 10% of the volume above the surface. At this point I could get into all the hints and tips on how to manage your life… but most of you know them already. These are the surface things. What I want to do is go below the surface – what is happening on the inside of you when it comes to the choices you make and the boundaries you set.

Part of my preparation for this subject was to listen to a fantastic talk on work and rest by John Ortberg (formerly of Willow Creek Church, USA.) He describes people falling into two categories (I think there may be more, but these two make a good start!). Firstly there are compliant pleasers. They have a hard time saying ‘No’. They want to avoid conflict, they prefer peace and they can be motivated by fear. They feel guilt and blame if they don’t step up. They are nice people, they are pastoral people, they are really likeable people! I like these people and enjoy being with them – I really do!

The trouble is, resentment can build up deep inside them as they continue to care for people while others don’t step up to help. From time to time – as if out of nowhere – they explode. Anyone out there like this?