We’ve lost sight of the value of true rest. Here are some ways to reclaim it.
The idea of resting could be a lost art.
And when I say “resting” I’m not talking about Netflix bingeing.
Rest comes in many forms but the best kind of rest is one that rejuvenates the body, soul and spirit. It rekindles a fire in you again. A Sabbath is unique because it’s a God-initiated and God-inspired rest that replenishes holistically.
I don’t think this kind of rest has to be so complicated and so difficult to find. Being encouraged to rest at the right times might be the best leadership advice you could ever receive. Here are some practical ways to incorporate a Sabbath mind-set into your daily life.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO REST AND SABBATH:
Take 30–60 Minute Sabbath
Take 30–60 minute Sabbath in the morning to be committed to reading God’s Word and having a time of prayer. It fuels you for the day and it gives you an opportunity to invite God into your meetings and plans before they even start. I always choose to “eat Scripture” before I eat my breakfast—a simple discipline that keeps me on track and committed.
Take a Half-Day Sabbath Each Week
Take a half-day Sabbath each week to shut off your phone and email and take a Sabbath for about 2–3 hours in your week. When I worked in Washington, D.C., I would take Wednesday mornings, from 9–12 and I would simply lay out my next few weeks and months before God. I would look at it and pray through it. I would keep my journal page open and would jot down ideas God would put in mind—Scriptures, faces of those whom I felt I needed to reach out to, etc. I would take that time to dream and pray into the plans and projects I was working on. God led the agenda and I simply prayed, listened and wrote down what I thought God was speaking. Great blueprints for my ministry come from these days. It’s one of the most effective disciplines of my career.
Take Your Sabbath Day
Take your Sabbath day and keep it holy by giving a day to God. On this day, give godly relationships priority, spend quality time and seek God together as a family, laugh, eat a great meal together, watch a movie, be outside … and simply do stuff that recharges you and energizes you. Because relationships energize me specifically, I always build into my Sabbath days conversations with those who inspire me, encourage me and build me up. If you’re the opposite, build into your day downtime for just you and let those around you know this is how you recharge.
Take a Monthly Sabbath Day
Once a month, set aside time to consecrate your family, career and future to God. Use this time to evaluate, think critically, make plans and be intentional. Pray over your family and think critically about your family’s trajectory: financial goals, marriage tune-ups, etc. Use this time to lay difficult relationships before God and ask if there are any planks in your own eye. Pray into the future plans so you can see and hear what God’s heart is for your future. Take time to pray for others and ask God who needs you to encourage them or pray for them. It’s here that I got retreat ideas, family values implemented, mentorship relationships established, etc.
Take a Yearly Sabbath Retreat
This doesn’t have to be a big production. For me, this is “staycation” style. I do this every year in January. I take a few days to fast, walk the local parks, hit some of my favorite places that refresh me, prayer walk, hit up a another church and use their sanctuary and simply let God speak to me. If you’re feeling more ambitious, then simply go camping, get a cabin or book a hotel room so you can spend a few days away and grab ahold of God’s plans and purposes for you.
The result? I’ve never experienced burnout. The fire God put in my heart is my responsibility to keep lit and for me to stay fueled (Lev. 6:12–13).
These Sabbaths won’t just magically happen. You have to get out your calendar and start right now by adding dates and guarding that time. You have to let your family know. If it’s necessary and appropriate, let your superiors know as well, and watch your spiritual life get reignited.
This article originally appeared on AlanPastian.com.