There is definitely an art to taking a day off.
For just about my whole career as a pastor, I’ve taken Fridays off. I know that cuts against the grain. I suspect that most pastors take Monday off, exhausted from Sunday worship and other activities. But I really like Mondays. They are far, far from Sunday. They give me a chance to get a jump on the week. And everyone thinks I take Monday off, so I don’t get a lot of phone calls or other interruptions.
But taking Friday off doesn’t mean it’s easy to take Friday off. It’s not really easy to take any day off. Even if I am totally prepared for Sunday, my brain churns with thoughts of things I need to do, people I need to visit, people who are sick or dying, people I haven’t seen for a while, or people who want to see me. That last category of people includes those who have put off emailing, texting or calling me the entire week.
I have learned the necessity of turning everything off on Friday. My phone, email, and my mind. It will all be there on Saturday, right? So it’s OK to sleep. Take a nap. Read a book. Go for a walk. Watch TV. Or do nothing at all.
That’s hard. I feel like I need to make the most of my time. Doing nothing doesn’t seem like a good use of time. But some words keep echoing in my mind: “If you are available all the time, you aren’t really available.” Unless I have time to rest, I won’t be effective during my non-rest times.
I have a few members who will ask me, “So, when are you taking vacation?” They know. They understand. They know I cannot be at my best if I never, ever get a chance to rest.
So I’m working on it. I’m turning off my phone. I’m staying off my computer. I’m trying to stay off the church-grid. I’m still learning how to “sabbath,” that is, rest.
One thought on “The art of rest”
Resting also helps us to be more focused and helps in the relaxation of our mind….