Finding Work-Rest Balance
I was first challenged to think about work-rest balance in my life a few years ago when I was doing some research for a series of messages I was going to give on “Balancing Life”. It was interesting to see in the Bible that the Jewish day actually starts at sunset when the extended family gather to ‘break bread’ together. This would be followed by sleep. In the morning, work begins and the day ends and the new day starts at sunset where the extended family ‘breaks bread’ together again. What would life be like if I followed that pattern of relationships-rest-work in that order?
Unfortunately I did not put that thought into practice as I am a ‘workaholic’ and I like being busy. At various times I was reminded the importance to get that work-life balance sorted as I was juggling too many projects but I kept ignoring it. A number of things happened that made me realise I need to do something about this. Firstly I was getting drained at the end of each day and it was taking me longer to recover and get my energy back. I also noticed that my staff is getting busier and not developing a healthy work-rest balance in their lives. Yesterday 2 staff members made me realise I need to do something about the work-rest balance in my life. One staff member had to come back to work on their day off to provide support for a community funeral. Another said she had been asked by a lady to do a bible study during the Christmas break and she couldn’t say no. It dawned on me that work-rest balance is a discipleship issue and not just a personal choice. If Jesus spent time teaching His disciples about rest and if he demonstrated that principle in his own life, then it is important for me to take this work-rest balance seriously.
I know this is going to be a hard concept for me to grasp. I desperately want to make real the idea that God wants me to hour the times of rest and to be still. God doesn’t want me to be busy but fruitful. That means I need to re-create my day to put relationships first, rest second and then working from that place of rest. Its going to be hard but if that’s God’s plan, I need to make that happen in my life.