Remember the Sabbath Day...

It was this time last year that things started to seriously unravel for me. A lifetime of bad work habits, exhaustion, financial pressures, a backdrop of low-level depression, physical injury preventing me from doing the sport that was my safety valve all combined to create a new experience for me, that of acute anxiety... I'm in a better place this year than last but there is no doubt that the headlong rush from the beginning of September through to harvest is taking its toll, exacerbated by the loss of my wonderful pastoral assistant John Mbayo, who has gone to Edgehill College to be trained for the ordained ministry, and the incapacitation of another colleague. I then read this piece by April Diaz on "Mommy Needs" via Scot McKnight's Weekly Meanderings on Jesus Creed... I may not be a "Mommy" but I recognised the experience:
"My days are out of control recently. I'm working way too much. Way. It's a unique season of ministry where I've finished most days with a list of "to dos" longer than when I've started the day. Every single day has dealt with painful emails, difficult conversations, disappointed followers, misunderstood decisions, and awkward transitions. Literally, every single day. It's a season I hope to leave sooner than later. Tears have defiantly fallen more often than I'd like. I've been hanging on by a thread while passionately casting a vision of a new thing I believe God's calling our community toward [Isaiah 43:18-19]. Most days I feel a complicated tension of intense conviction and a weary beat down."
She goes on to outline how she was forced to take some time out on her own... And whilst factoring in time for family and particularly Sally over the past year has been important in me getting back on track in this past year, me time has also been vital... On a practical level that has meant a negotiation with my employers at the local hospital where I serve as a part-time chaplain, and a return to my old practice of Mondays off...
Cue a discussion last Monday with my wise 10 year old son... When I went to pick him up from school, which is part of my Monday routine, he asked me had I been doing any work. I said no, that I had been having a lazy day, which I had enjoyed even more because it was shaping up to be a very busy week (which it has been).
"Would it not be a better idea to get ahead with the work today then?" Ciaran asked.
And I was forced to explain to a 10 year old that over the last year I had rediscovered that no-matter how much work lies ahead, I needed to get my rest before trying to tackle it, so that I could give it my best... Working from rest rather than resting from work... There will always be more work to do... the to do list never gets any shorter because so many of the things that I do are weekly tasks that need addressed as soon as I have completed the previous one...
"That makes sense..." said Ciaran
And it does...
So when is your sabbath?

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