Last week I was chatting with some of the other buyers during the lunch break at the live auction I attend in Fort Worth. Several of the ‘regulars’ own large used office furniture stores in the metroplex and as far away as Nebraska. In particular I was chatting with a guy that is about my age who has been in the resale business for 5 years and hasn’t taken a vacation in all that time.
There is no question that the used office furniture business is competitive and fast-paced, just like many other industries. But not taking time off can kill your health and sanity, and your business along with it. I’m the type of person that REALLY likes to stay busy so this is something I have to try and remind myself about often.
The Bible speaks about rest and renewal A LOT! In the Old Testament, Exodus and Leviticus are filled with examples and COMMANDS to rest, renew, and reflect. A few that come to mind are:
Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
Leviticus 25:4 “But in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard.”
Personal rest, rest for workers, renewal for the animals used in labor, and even renewal for the land (crop rotation) are all spoken off in the various commandments founds in these two books. Even though this old law isn’t binding on New Testament Christians it is a healthy pattern and reminder for all of us.
All of this is on my mind because I am headed to a ministry conference for the rest of the week. I am in my 11th year of ministry and have only attended 1 conference in all that time. I am really looking forward to meeting some new people, spending time with folks I know from the DFW area, and being encouraged and equipped to better minister to the congregation I work with.
What kinds of things do you do to renew? Obviously it doesn’t have to be a grand event or occasion. There are lots of little things we can do along the way. I believe we are sometimes too hard on ourselves. Recently my wife and I were talking about all the negative blog posts that have been written about mom’s tinkering on their cell phones at the park while the kids are playing. No one would say anything about a mom who is reading a book at the park while their children are playing. If a mom wants to take a moment to enjoy a game, chat, or read on their cell phone while the kids play…more power to them! Being a mom is an exhausting job.
You might have a favorite show you enjoy watching, or a book you like to read, or a prayer journal you are working through. There are any number of things that people might do to take a moment to rest, relax, and renew. The key is to take that moment. You might also take a look around. See someone who is busier than you are? Give them a hand! Perhaps you see your spouse running themselves into the ground, head home from work a bit early and lend an extra hand. We all could use a little help!
Another thing you should make time for is Bible study with your family. It doesn’t have to be any big deal. I will often work our conversation into dinnertime, which is why I started writing dinnertime devotionals. I have heard from several of you who use these outlines each week and I appreciate your good efforts – Dinnertime Devotionals 32.