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Take a Nap
April 3

I graduated in May of 2005 but I wasn't able to start working at my first church until September 1, over three months later. The pastor I was going to be working with was going on a sabbatical and they didn't want me to start until after his sabbatical was over. As a 26-year-old, recent seminary graduate, I had heard of sabbaticals, but I wasn't exactly sure what they were. The pastor told me that he wasn't supposed to be involved in any church work for those three months so we needed to cover as much material as possible before his sabbatical began. That sounded pretty serious to my recently graduated ears. I learned that a sabbatical was a very intentional time where the individual was supposed to recharge and find renewed energy so that they could continue to do the important work that they were called to do. The folks who set up the sabbatical's parameters must know pastors pretty well and they knew that if there weren't clear expectations and restrictions, the sabbatical would be anything but a recharge. The pastor would probably have a hard time avoiding their inbox and answering emails, listening to voicemails and returning calls. And this doesn't just apply to pastors...

Where I live, we are on Spring Break this week. Spring Break certainly isn't a sabbatical, but for many it is a vacation, a chance to get away, or just a chance to get a "break." But how much of a break is it? How many of us take our work with us on our break? How many students are still stressing about school, studying, or preparing for an upcoming test or project? Why are we so adverse to unplugging? What are we afraid of? Apparently, this isn't a new thing and God has been aware of it for years. If the third commandment talks about the sabbath and our need to keep it holy, we have been battling our inability to rest for a LONG time. Even Jesus would go away to a quiet place so that he could recharge. We have to put limits on our personal screens so we don't stare at them for the majority of our waking hours. Struggling with rest is not new, but it’s also just as important today as it was when Moses received those famous stone tablets. 

Maybe we haven't grownup too much from our toddler years; we are still fighting the nap that we desperately need. So maybe we need to remember a Sunday School song from those toddler years, a song about how God has the entire world in God's hands. God even has you in those hands. So, make your day off an actual day off, make your vacation an actual vacation, remember that the sabbath (rest) is a gift from God that we need, and while we rest, the world won't collapse or spin off into an abyss. If God has carried us this far, I think God can handle it for a couple days, while we recharge, so that we can be renewed and do the important work that God and the world needs us to do. Remind yourself that rest is holy. If God did it, chances are we need it too.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Chris
Last Published: March 27, 2019 11:06 AM