Are you feeling physically and emotionally exhausted? Is there a growing sense of apathy towards things that you used to be passionate about? Does God seem distant and silent to you?
If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions you may be living a life that is out of rhythm. God created a world that is in rhythm. Sunrise – sunset. The tide goes in – the tide goes out. A season for planting – a season for harvest. Autumn gives way to winter – winter to spring – spring to summer – and then back to autumn. In the creation account in Genesis God himself set the example for us – a period of intense work, followed by rest (Sabbath). God didn’t rest because he was tired. He rested in order to set the pattern for us. God had to teach us that without rest we will be miserable, increasingly ineffective and eventually we will burn out.
Is there a rhythm of work and rest in your life? Or is it all work? If so, it is just a matter of time until you crash and burn. No human being can sustain the pace of life in our modern world without taking a regular pit stop. And I’m not just talking about catching a nap or getting enough sleep at night (though that is very important). I’m also talking about taking time to be spiritually rejuvenated through time with God; intentionally developing our relationship with him. Scripture reading. Prayer. Meditation. Reflection.
In his book, REPLENISH, author Lance Witt says, “Leaders who stay spiritually healthy long-term are those who learn the sacred rhythm of advance and retreat.” You, my friend, are not exempt from this principle. I have been in full-time ministry for over 33 years now and I wholeheartedly agree with what Witt writes, “The triple – A of adrenaline, ambition, and achievement aren’t enough to sustain you anymore.” Boy, do I feel that! I have no doubt that if I am to finish this race well, I must practice the ancient principle of Sabbath.
I pray that God would help each one of us to be honest in evaluating our lives and schedules and then making the choice to follow the rhythm that he has ordained.