Friday, September 21, 2012

Vacation as Worship

My family and I are very excited because we are about to take our first real vacation in over a year. Sure, we have had some mini breaks and travelled, but often those are work related, which doesn't usually equate to complete rest. It is quite interesting some of the conversations that I have had and information that I have received leading up to this vacation.

Some people were unsure how we could take such a break, two weeks, away from our work because it is so pertinent to the Kingdom advancing in this part of the world. These type of people are often addicted to work and in regards to ministry they have an imbalance that is obvious. They believe that the work ultimately depends on them instead of Christ. My advice to these people, repent of your sin and take a break as you recognize your dependence on Jesus.

To put things into perspective a little for you, I had one guy within my own organization say to me, "Most of us don't even use all of our vacation." He told me this in a boastful way and once again pointed out the attitude of "we work so hard for Jesus that we don't have time to take a break." In my mind once again this is communicating, "Jesus needs me so I don't take a vacation." My advice to these type of attitudes, Jesus does not need you to accomplish or finish his mission. We see Jesus himself getting away to be alone with the Father as he himself needed rest.

To take things even further within my own realm of life, my organization recently had to "implement" a policy (which they love by the way) to take a weekly sabbath. This was not too surprising because I firmly believe that one of the most broken commandments is remembering the Sabbath. It was stated that people were feeling bad for taking a sabbath day when they did. Seriously, this is a large Christian organization full of Sabbath breakers. Maybe they should focus more on this in their long application process instead of focusing so much on speaking in tongues and alcohol consumption, which by the way can be enjoyable, so I have heard from Pastor Mark Driscoll.

So, how can I take a vacation? Because I realize that I need one and that I am commanded to take rest. I've heard it said that you eventually will take a break whether it is voluntary or involuntary. I am trying to take one voluntary so that my health will not take one involuntary and ultimately as a way to worship God in trusting that it is He who rules and reigns in my work that I am resting from.

Here are 5 Practical Thoughts on Rest from Tim Keller:

1. Take some time for sheer inactivity

2. Take some time for avocational activity:

  • You need contemplative rest.
  • You need some recreational rest.
  • You need to include aesthetic rest.
3. Consider whether you are an introvert or extrovert.
4. Don't necessarily count family time as sabbath time.
5. Honor both micro-and macro-rhythms in your seasons of rest.

1 comment:

  1. This is very true. I have to fuss at my own family sometimes. We're pretty involved and I tend to hear the line that we need the time to get something done - homework, housework, etc. My observation is that God's economy doesn't seem to add up, but it's true nonetheless: that we will get more done if we take time for rest on God's time than we will if we take it from God and try to get things done by making it our time.

    And the other side of this is that we are not so important that we should be overextended. If we can't get a week's work done in 6 days, we are taking on more than God wants us to do.

    But it looks like Keller's teaching extends even to short breaks throughout the normal workday. For my kids in their schoolwork, as an example, our brains function better if we refocus our attention for maybe 10 minutes every hour. Otherwise, the quality of our thinking will degrade exponentially after that (the feeling of being "brain-fried"). So it's beneficial to take a break. I walk through the house every hour or so while the kids are working on homework and intentionally distract them temporarily (not that hard to do) if they aren't taking breaks.

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