My church’s theme for Lent is “The Race.” The series is phenomenal; every week I walk away with a revelation about my relationship with God. As an introspective person, this kind of teaching is especially important for my spiritual journey. What makes this even better is that we have “Lenten Small Groups” to dig deeper into each theme with a group of people. It’s refreshing and fantastic. Basically, I dig it. :)
The theme from two weeks back really stuck with me–“Red Flag: The Importance of the Pit.” The idea is that each racecar has a moment where it refuels for the race. Although it may seem momentary, it’s necessary.
This made me reflect: What am I doing to spiritually refuel, change my tires, and take a sip of Gatorade (or honor whatever my sponsor is)?
The funny fact is: As introspective as I am, I am terrible at taking care of myself at times.
One of my dearest friends and I meditated on this scripture a few months ago:
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Mark 6:30-34 (NIV)
Here’s what hits me: The disciples were overextended. They were so busy, they didn’t even have a chance to eat.
And life didn’t stop because they were so busy–the crowds demanded even more from them. Jesus didn’t say, “Sorry guys, they need more from you. Let’s get back to work.”
Nope. He said, “You go rest. I’ve got this.”
Then this morning in my daily chronological scripture reading, I read the part in Exodus where God states that the Sabbath is a part of his Covenant with his people. He commands that part of honoring God is honoring a time of rest.
Friday I’ll talk about what a Sabbath can look like in ministry, where you sometimes work 7 days a week. My friend Aaron published an infographic where he says that the average number of real Sabbath days a youth worker takes in a day is 14.
I’m not a math genius, but 52 weeks minus 14 sabbath days equals a lot of weeks where we are not keeping up our side of the Covenant. It makes me wonder if I’m really honoring God with my work if I’m not honoring him with a rest.
So shut up, and take a Sabbath.