The Sabbath was not a suggestion. Moses included it in his top 10, and Jesus completely redefined this ancient practice to the Jewish culture that had made it a chore instead of a blessing. But let’s be honest, most of us do not know how to take a day off without feeling guilty, restless, or insecure. As a young pastor, I seldom chilled for an entire day, and it almost cost me my marriage, my health, and my ministry. Today, I am better at it. Here are some thoughts and suggestions to help all of us take a day off so we can unplug and recharge our lives.
12 Ways to Take a Day Off
1. Tweet less or not at all.
2. Don’t look at your Facebook inbox.
3. Go on a date with your spouse.
4. Go outside and take a walk. The sun recharges our bodies more than we think.
5. Unless it’s family or one of your close friends, do not answer your phone. Voicemail is a great screening tool.
6. Don’t drink cheap coffee.
7. Talk about anything but work stuff. Note to pastors – church stuff is work stuff.
8. Wear clothes you would never wear to work. I have an awful set of t-shirts I wear on my day off.
9. Do something that makes you smile or laugh. If nothing comes to mind, read something from Dave Barry.
10. Spend time reading the Bible. If you’re a pastor or teacher, do not read the text you plan to teach on Sunday. Read for yourselves today and not for others.
11. Hit yourself on the kneecap with a hammer each time you read an e-mail from work. After a couple of e-mails, you will be forced to lie down and rest.
12. Spend some time completely alone. Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. We should, too.
May our souls be restored and our joy return as we trust that God can do more in our lives in six days than we can accomplish in seven days on our own. The Sabbath requires faith and obedience, but the rewards are incomparable.