Seemingly a simple question with an equally simple answer, during my sabbatical I’ve explored this question more deeply than ever before.
My sabbatical is drawing to a close, and I’m already beginning to think about what awaits me upon my return. It’s been a time of true and deep refreshing; I can feel such a difference in my spirit. During this time I’ve been able to step completely outside my normal traffic patterns of life and spend four weeks in the dirt as a part of the Tall el-Hammam archaeological dig in Jordan. I’ve read a lot, and I am on track to finish reading the Bible through during this 90 day period (thanks to YouVersion’s 90 day Bible reading plan!) In January, I completed my first book, which should release in April. And I’ve enjoyed some wonderful time in the last week and a half with out of state family members, just hanging out and being.
I think rest looks different for different people. For some, travel and the hard work of an archaeological dig would not fit the bill. For me, it was just right. It was WAY outside my box, and uncovering architecture from the time of Abraham, David and Solomon, and the kings of the divided monarchy was awe-inspiring.
Spending time reading and with my family is life giving to me. And my spirit is refreshed from extended time in God’s Word, listening to the promptings from the Spirit, taking the time to process what I’m seeing and hearing.
Not everyone gets a 3 month sabbatical – I was incredibly blessed with this gift from Southview Community Church – but I believe just about everyone has the opportunity for regular times of Sabbath. Not as a strict legalism type of thing, but as a gift from your Heavenly Father, who knows you need to pause, to rest, to listen, and to refresh.
As you plan your week, your month, your quarter, your summer, and your year, where are you building times for intentional rest? It’s absolutely critical for leaders.