For those who are regular readers of this blog, you have noticed a long silence through the month of August. It is not because I am done writing, or that God is done working with me, rather it is because I took and extended time away. I took a long overdue rest. During the time away, God showed and spoke many things to me. One of the loudest voices was in the area of rest.
Those who share a passion and zeal for God share in a common problem, we have a hard time stopping. Our whole lives become wrapped up in the ministry God has put before us. This is not a bad thing, in fact I think that is what God desires from all of us. The problem comes in with our in ability to seek and practice rest. To take time apart one for physical rest, two for a mental, emotional and spiritual rest. This does not mean we take a vacation from God, in fact it means more intensely connecting with God. Rest means taking a break from all the other pieces of ministry and mission, to focus more completely on God and the priorities of God.
If you are leading a ministry or mission and you are convinced you cannot step away, it is time to take your pride to the altar. If you cannot stop, and your whole life is defined by going on to the next place people need you, again it is time to go to the altar with that pride. it doesn't mean we step away from God, and it doesn't mean we stop working for the Kingdom. It means we catch our breath.
It is possible to become too obsessed with the rest or time away. Many gifted and talented persons forfeit great works of God because of an unwillingness to press through. Still there are times when God offers us the opportunity to rest, do we take it? For those who pastor, the church will be fine. For those who support a pastor, encourage the pastor, and lead in covering the gaps. As I come back from a month of rest, I am feeling foolish for not doing this before. My passion has returned, my anxiety is low, and focus is sharp. By taking time away, I will be more effective in the mission of God than if I would have simply pushed through.
May we all have a pattern of rest.