It hit me the other day to some degree and an even greater one today how I literally do not take a Sabbath. Now, don’t get me wrong, I want to. Oh, how I wish I could take a day just to rest and regain my composure from the rest of the week. However, I find myself in a predicament that I am sure many others do as well and I am not quite sure how to handle it.
We know that a Sabbath is necessary to avoid burnout and in fact, it is commanded by God in Exodus. Now, I am more open-minded in my thinking because I recognize that the Sabbath could be a different day of the week for you or my pastor or a doctor instead of requiring that it be on Sunday. I am not one to beat myself up over some things like this, but it still my question is still a question that begs to be answered. Is it possible for bi-vocational church pastors and/or leaders to truly have a Sabbath?
I say this because, like most other people, my life is very busy. Between my secular job in the corporate world, being a full-time husband, trying to keep up the work in and around the house, as well as other things that are on my schedule, I have very little free time. I do not have one day that I can take off from work the week after I preach at church just to recharge my batteries. Instead, we have Sunday morning service, our Bible study that afternoon, and then on Monday morning I am expected to report back to the office for work. We all know that lives are busy through the week with trying to keep up with the chores among the daily grind, so that rules out an extra five days for someone who is employed elsewhere. Saturdays are a busy day for me and most to mow, do laundry, run errands, all those important things that you cannot get done during the week. Then, on Sunday, we’re right back in church.
Now, this is not to say that I do not enjoy doing what I do for the church because I really do. If I didn’t enjoy it and feel called to it, I wouldn’t do it. It does however, leave open the Sabbath becoming a way of the past. As sad and potentially sinful that is, it may very well be the truth. So, how do you prevent running on fumes the entire week?
For me, I try to take Monday evenings after the rush of Sunday and the work day are over to just relax. This doesn’t give me the full day that I would like, but it allows me to have some time just to gather my thoughts and prepare again. It’s not perfect and far from ideal, but it helps me cope. I also prefer to use Sunday evenings for the same purpose if everything pans out that way. I am afraid that the Sabbath is going the way of the dodo in general as people are just as busy on the weekends as they are during the week.
Is it possible to not feel like you are forsaking the Sabbath?