cats tend to not have a problem overworking themselves.

A couple of Sundays ago, Pastor Don Finto spoke about the Sabbath rest and how important it is that we don’t burn ourselves out. God multiplies the fruit of our work if we’re trusting in Him to provide, but He doesn’t bless self-imposed exhaustion.

I kind of ignored it. I mean, how am I supposed to do something about that when I have an overwhelming work load that I have to get done? I thought about this briefly this past weekend, but ended up at the conclusion: Okay, I can take Sunday as a day of rest, but if I do that, I’ll have to pull an all-nighter Saturday night, so what’s the point really?

And God did not bless that attitude. In fact, He seemed to respond with, “If you won’t rest, I’m going to MAKE you rest.” I had to take a brief nap Sunday evening, intending to sleep for about 20 minutes, but I set my alarm wrong and ended up sleeping for over an hour. Then on Monday the silliest thing happened to me. I thought I was perfectly fine, but for some reason when I got to Greek class, I just started to cry. There was only one other person in the room, so I quickly wiped my eyes and thought, “Okay, I can pull this together in the next 2 minutes before everybody else gets here.” WRONG. The tears just kept coming. And kept coming. By this point, the professor as well as several other students had come in and I knew it wasn’t going to stop. So I got up, tears rolling down my cheeks, handed in my homework, said “I can’t stay,” and walked out. I have NEVER done that before. So I walked back to my dorm and sat in my bed for the rest of the class period resting and literally just trying to breathe and not have a panic attack.

A couple hours later, I went to Starbucks to get some hot chocolate and tackle this speech manuscript, where I ran into my lovely sis Lauren King. We talked about how we’re so stressed and so behind and both of us had been on the verge of tears all day. She said, “We weren’t made to do everything we’re trying to make ourselves do.”

She’s right.

So was Pastor Don.

And God knew what He was doing when He commanded His people to rest.

And I keep ignoring it.

And He keeps sending me little reminders.

Because today in youth ministry class, our guest speaker was talking about the importance of keeping yourself spiritually nourished by taking a non-negotiable day off once a week. We’ve talked about that before, but I always think of it in future terms, like, “When I’m a youth minister I’ll take a day off.” But this time, our guest speaker added, “And that’s a habit that you need to start now, because it’s not going to get any easier when you’re in ministry and juggling family responsibilities.”

best book ever

Sooooo…for the first time ever, I’m taking the step of faith NOT to do ANY homework on Sunday. I have a quiz and a presentation on Tuesday that I’m afraid I won’t have enough time to prepare for…but I’m trusting that if I finally give this over to God, He will bless my work on Monday. It’s not that it’s a sin to work on Sunday, but for me, it’s become a struggle for control, and I don’t have enough faith to let go of it. So I’m posting this and making it public to keep myself accountable to actually do it.

Even the thought of doing nothing at all stresses me out…what will I do with myself? Answer: enter the presence of God. Turn my phone off. Listen to some chill Christian music and reread my favorite book to renew me spiritually. Take a nap. Journal. Just be alone with Him.

Published in: on November 9, 2012 at 1:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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