Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Depart daily, withdraw weekly, and abandon annuallly"

Snow Days

By Rick Ezell

"There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his" (Hebrews 4:9-10 NIV).


"We need to depart daily, withdraw weekly, and abandon annually."-Rick Warren


In recent years catastrophic accidents-Exxon Valdez, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, the fatal navigational error of Korean Air Lines 007, the Challenger space shuttle disaster -all occurred in the middle of the night with fatigue-stressed operators.


When we ignore our need for rest we do so at the peril of others and ourselves. Because we do not rest, we lose our way. We miss the compass points that show us were to go. We make faulty judgments. We miss the solitude that gives us wisdom. Consequently, our lives are in danger. Error in our judgment to rest may cost us, too, our lives.


Rest is not optional. Rest was never meant to be a luxury, but a necessity for growth, maturity, and health. God commanded and Jesus demanded believers to withdraw. We do not rest because our work is done; we rest because God created our physical, emotional, and spiritual components with a need for periodic breaks. The old proverb is true, "If you don't come apart, you will come apart."


Do you remember snow days? As a child, when it snowed, you would get up in the morning and immediately turn on the radio to see if school was going to be closed. And when it was canceled you rejoiced. You had a free day, completely unplanned, in which you could do anything you wanted. It was a gift.


We need to create our own snow days, or at least some snow time. We need blocks of time on a regular basis to rest our bodies and recharge our souls, in order to remain free of burnout and breakdown.


That day-that time of refreshment-is what Jesus had in mind when he instructed his followers-then and now-to come to him. In coming to Jesus he gives the rest we need. He didn't say, "Come to me, and I will tell you where you can find rest." When we come to him, he gives rest for our souls. It's better than any snow day could give.


Open your gift.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like this statement & am going to implement it into my life.
I am a pastor who struggles with constant fatigue, & need to do something.