Posts Tagged ‘margins

18
Nov
08

Sabbath…unloaded

Poor self management was warning sign #5 given by Mark Sanborn, in his recent article “Why Leaders Fail”.  Mark is a Christian who works in the field of leadership coaching.  He writes, “Leaders who fail to take care of their physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs are headed for disaster.”

Mark’s caution applies to all men, regardless of their formal roles as leaders.  We are not going to lead our wives, our kids, our peers, or ourselves for that matter, if we perpetually disregard the need to replenish our reserves.

Sabbath is a God-given life rhythm intended to restore us in our relationship with God, others, and self.  God modelled this rhythm when on the seventh day he rested from all the work of creating the material world (Ge 2:1-3).  He enshrined this rhythm into the fabric of Hebrew society (Ex 20:8-11).  However, this restorative rhythm was corrupted and over time became a burden of man-made “do not’s”.

Jesus challenged that legalistic view of keeping Sabbath.  Instead he called people “to do good on the Sabbath” (Mt 12:12).  The “good” is to engage in that which will rejuvenate self and restores our relationship with God and with others.

This is not a one-off emergency pit stop, but a weekly interruption of our worries and busyness.  It is an intentional disengagement from our employment.  It is a setting aside of the tools of our trade, tangible or technical, so that we might be refreshed — margins re-established that we might once again bear the responsibilities that are ours.

What does this look like in practical terms?  I can’t nor should I give you a “one-size-fits-all”.  For me, it means designating an email-free day.  Emails regularly bring reminders and requests associated with my vocation.  Sabbath is about intentionally taking a break from that, so that I can be rejuvenated.  I am also learning that I need to purposefully engage in activities that refuel me.  Time with spiritual friends, reading, running and Café Misto at Starbucks are some that renew me.  What about you?  What chorus of activities restores your soul?

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