(Picture – Oliver Kendall via Creative Commons)
No human being can sustain what we do most of the time for all of the time. If we keep working, eventually it’s going to catch up to us. And when I say work, I’m not just talking about our jobs – because despite what culture says, work is much more than our jobs.
Work, in fact, is whatever what we give most of our energies to. What we spend most of our time doing. Jobs can be one example, but there are other activities we do we don’t class as work – but essentially, they are.
For example, writing is not my job. But it’s work. Social media engagement isn’t my job. But given how much I interact on there, it’s work. Both of these use up a lot of my time and energy. They are work. Close friendships and relationships are also work – how often have you heard a long-time married couple say marriage is ‘hard work’? There’s a reason.
Any activity counts as work if it’s something we give a lot of our energy to.
But none of us can maintain it forever. Our minds, bodies, and souls all cry out for rest. And we feel it inside. When we say an activity ‘took something out of us’, well it most probably did.
We need to rest. Jesus did. Even God did – and really doesn’t even need rest, does He? He instituted the principle of ‘sabbath’ – 6 days work then a day of rest. And the rest was just as important as the work.
With this in mind, from Sunday I’m going to stop engaging on social media for a few days. I’m not going to respond to e-mails and messages unless its life or death. I’m not going to write anything for publication – I might journal if the mood takes me, but my writers hat will be off for a few days. And afterward, to try have a weekly sabbath.
Because if it’s too difficult to lay this down, it has too much of a hold over my life.
Because the gift will be there when I come back, and maybe with fresh inspiration. And because I’ll stop being so reactive to everything and constantly feeling like I need to keep up.
It will remind me my identity and value comes not from writing, not from engagement with social media, or from what others think of me – but from the truth about me, and God’s words about me.
And in the process, I may again become aware of the depth of God’s love and grace, and His authority over all things. Reminded it’s God who sustains the world, not me. Have my eyes opened again to that which truly has value, what the important issues in the world are.
Because if you know what’s truly important and what isn’t, it’s much easier to build a healthier rhythm into your daily life. (you can tweet that here)
And most likely, there will come something unexpected. Something new may be birthed. God may – and probably will – do some work which I didn’t expect in an area I didn’t expect, and speak to me about something I didn’t even know about.
I know this will be a challenge – social media is probably way too big a part of my life, and writing is my calling, my vocation.
But it’s time to lay these things down for a moment. Surrender.
And surrendering is something all of us need to do. It’s writing and social media for me, it may be something different for you.
Now I’m not saying we should lay down our marriages or friendships – though even married couples would probably say one thing which keeps a marriage alive is allowing each other their own space occasionally – and this is essentially that principle in action. Even the best friends don’t spend all their time together.
But let’s leave relationships right now. Instead, think of the habit, the hobby, the action you couldn’t not do even for one day, which you would really struggle to lay down, which maybe you almost have a subconscious fear of laying down – and you’ve found what you need to surrender.
And in order to get a healthy balance to your life, you may have to lay that down for a few days. To find a way to manage your time so in future you get regular breaks from it.
So lets get some balance. Let’s get some perspective. Let’s reconnect with what – and who – is really important.
Let’s lay it down. And rest.
Are you with me?
Have you ever laid down what is most important for a short period?
How could you see the principle of Sabbath working out in your everyday life?
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