I’ll begin a two week vacation after I preach the second service today! My family and I will be enjoying the beach this week! We all need the relaxation and rest that comes from taking time away from the normal routines of life.
Our culture does not value rest as it should. And I am a “delivered” workaholic! Twenty years ago I was not able to take a vacation and enjoy it because my sense of personal value was all tied up in performance and works. I would become agitated and upset just a few days into a vacation back then.
Now I am settled in who Jesus is to me, and I know that He loves me, not based on my performance, but based on the fact that I am a human being made in His image.
Paul held a pastor’s conference in Ephesus in Acts 20 and admonished the pastors to take heed to themselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit made them overseers. There’s a lot of wisdom there.
Before a pastor can really help others, he must take care of himself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and in his personal relationships with his family.
So I’ll miss the flock this week! But I know that if I’m going to continue to be an effective pastor I must do as Jesus told the disciples and come away and rest awhile.
I’ll continue my blog during vacation though. I enjoy staying connected with you. I’ll leave you with some quotes I put together from C.H. Spurgeon’s book entitled Lectures To My Students. I believe they emphasize the need for rest well.
“The bow cannot be always bent without fear of breaking. Repose is as needful to the mind as sleep to the body… Even the earth must lie fallow and have her Sabbaths, and so must we…Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength…A little pause prepares the mind for greater service in the good cause…Fisherman must mend their nets, and we must every now and then repair our mental waste and get our machinery in order for future service…To tug the oar from day to day like a galley slave who knows no holidays, suits no mortal man…Millstreams go on forever, but we must have our pauses and intervals…Who can help but be out of breath when the race is continued without intermission…Even beasts of burden must be turned out to grass occasionally; the sea pauses at ebb and flood; earth keeps the Sabbath of wintry months; and a man, when exalted to God’s ambassador, must rest or faint; must trim his lamp or let it burn low; must recruit his vigor or grow prematurely old…It is wisdom to take an occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall sometimes do more by doing less…On, on, on forever may suit our spirits emancipated from this heavy clay, but while we are in this tabernacle, we must every now and then cry halt, and serve the Lord by holy inaction and consecrated leisure…Let no tender conscience doubt the lawfulness of going out of harness for a while, but learn from the experience of others the necessity and duty of taking timely rest.”