by Mark G. Holbrook

“One measure for whether or not you’re rested enough—besides falling asleep in board meetings—is to ask yourself this: How much do I care about the things I care about? When we lose concern for people, …for friendship, …when we cease to laugh when our children laugh, …or weep when our spouses weep…—when we stop caring about the things we care about—that’s a signal we’re too busy. We have let ourselves be consumed by the things that feed the ego but starve the soul.” – Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God

What is it about rest that makes some of us resist it? To push it aside, find any reason not to succumb to it, like a four-year-old asking for his third glass of water at bedtime while eyelids droop low.

We fight the need for rest, yet Sabbath is a biblical mandate. God set aside an entire day to cease from our busyness, reflect on His goodness and take stock of all He’s allowed us to accomplish. We can practice Sabbath as a day, and as an attitude. In it we find rest for our body and rest for our souls.

At ECCU, we try to be intentional about rest—right in the middle of our work. For us, that means caring for employees’ physical and spiritual well-being even in the midst of our busy work life. We do this with weekly chapel services, and the opportunity for staff to participate in a day-long refresher called Soul Care. Twice a year for the past four years, Steve Macchia and Rick Anderson of Leadership Transformations facilitate this day of reflective Bible reading, journaling, worship, and prayer for our staff.

Work is busy. Life is busy. But we can—and should—be intentional about rest. Does your ministry take time to rest, to refocus, to ensure you still care about the things you care about? Leave a comment and give our readers more ideas for how to embrace rest in the work of ministry.

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