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The rest of your life

Give it a rest.

I recently had an interesting exchange on facebook with some old friends. I posted that I was going to be in Vancouver on a Sunday morning and was up for preaching in a church if anyone needed me. I got a flurry of comments telling me to take time out, to rest up and enjoy the Sabbath. I am all for accountability whether online or otherwise. I am also a big fan of rest. My work timetable is pretty manic – often traveling, often working weekends but I am pretty consistent in taking lieu time from work and usually manage to take most school holidays off as a result. Everyone has a different balance to work out: shift workers, airplane pilots, prison workers all have challenges to their work / rest balance and itinerant speakers do too. I’m up for suggestions for different ways to handle the challenges – so feel free to leave me a message with your advice.

Rest is best

Well it turns out I am down to preach on the subject of Rest in a couple of weeks in Bristol. Ebbe Church is doing a series based on my book “Twenty Four: integrating faith and every day life.” I am biased, but it is a great series for a church to do as we often look at discipleship issues by doing talks on prayer, giving, Bible reading, church etc. The book instead looks at a discipleship for everyday life, by looking at subjects like: waking, commuting, working, eating, shopping, watching tv, resting. Hopefully helping Christians make the connections between Sunday and Monday to Saturday.

The rest of you?

Well I am looking for your wisdom. What tips, advice and suggestions do you have for maintaining a healthy work / rest balance. Here’s a couple from the book:

What are you going to do with the rest of your life? Here are some practical suggestions. Adopt God’s rhythm of work and rest, day and night, six days + one day. And when you finish work for the day, or for the week, do something practical to state your trust in him. Set a curfew and put the hoover out of sight, leave your laptop at work, leave your revision to one side.

When you can’t sleep, pray for help recognising that sleep is a gift form God “God grants sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:2). Stop things buzzing around your head by jotting it down in a notebook. Work out a wind-down routine – watching TV, reading the Bible, taking a hot bubbly bath.

Critically evaluate the pace of your life. Fight against the rhythm of the world by taking your coffee breaks, eating your meal at a table, relaxing.

Be like God and bring rest to other people. The 10 commandments as recorded in Deuteronomy extended the Sabbath to the servants and animals, mirroring the compassion of God. Encourage your employees to leave their work behind on Friday night, campaign for fair working hours and a balanced working week. Respect the good neighbour rule of quiet after 11.00pm. Help out those who are sleep deprived by taking the pressure off.

Twenty Four is ofcourse available from amazon and all good bookshops (not yet on Kindle though).

 

Jack Bauer take a break
Take a break Jack Bauer

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5 thoughts on “The rest of your life”

  1. I can’t resist quoting George Herbert:

    “The Sundays of man’s life,
    Thredded together on time’s string,
    Make bracelets to adorn the wife
    Of the eternal glorious King.
    On Sunday heaven’s gate stands ope:
    Blessings are plentifull and rife,
    More plentifull then hope.”

    Taken from his poem, ‘Sunday’.

  2. Hi Krish, you’re welcome. Just to say, I have found Samuel Balentine’s comments in his commentary on Leviticus to be extremely thought provoking. He says in his section on Lev. 23 (pp. 180-181):

    The notion of a calendar that marks only sacred days – and not a single ordinary day – may strike the average reader as quite strange. In the ongoing press to be good ‘time managers,’ we learn, almost in self-defense, to schedule our work in the hope there may be some time left over for our rest…Thus, when we open our calendars to mark appointents around which we shedule our lives, we instinctively look for Monday-Friday, typically 9 A.M. – 5 P. M., although both boundaries for the work week are constantly eroding…The thought that we are commanded to observe holy days is not, in most cases, the first imperative we consider when we mark our calendars. Practically speaking, we tune our lives to ordinary time, not sacred time.

    The priestly calendar in Leviticus 23 envisions time differently. It centres on holy days, not ordinary days, and insists that they provide the compass for navigating every minute that falls between. It makes the daring claim that holy days are not the leftovers in the calendar; they are instead the core that gives definition and purpose to everything else.

  3. A big part of being able to rest is about giving up trying to be a god. When I’m busy, I’m in control, I make things happen or stop that crisis. When I rest, I have to give up on being the one who can fix everything and make everything. I need to rest to remind me that the wold will go on without me, that Someone else is in control when I let go. Just like the earlier commandments, sabbath is about letting God be God and acknowledging that I am just a man.

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