I drove down a road lined with bright orange construction signs warning the drivers:
Caution. Drive slow.
People had placed their own signs in front of their homes, reminding people to slow down. One sign stood out and made me smile for a long time:
Go fast. Hurry home. Enjoy your family.
The weekend needs its own sign; it’s not like the rest of the week.
The TableThink team has had many discussions about the power of the weekend. Joshua is the frontrunner on the team when it comes to promoting and insisting we take a weekend break. Of course, there are times we have to work; however, we’ve decided working through the weekend will never be our normal. This is a big change for me.
Both Joshua and I experienced a different work routine as pastors. First of all, working weekends is normal for most pastors. Taking a weekday off did not always work out, given the nature of our roles in the church and community. The work never seemed like a sacrifice but a part of my call. So, I did not think about the toll working seven days a week had on me. Looking back, I see how working 24/7 depleted my energy and increased my stress level.
Of course, you may be one of those who work Saturday and Sundays. I encourage you to consider your days off as your weekend. This is not a new concept. It’s a roll back from the ancient days, called Sabbath. There’s so much to learn about Sabbath but for now, there are three words to focus on:
rest . . .
renewal . . .
Sabbath is margin, producing restorative healing from the work of the week. Making space in the week to separate ourselves from the pressures of work is smart. There is a resurgence of life when we take time away from the daily grind.
I’ve learned to keep my work zone at home shut down and write a note on my phone if, I remember something that needs to be done. The weekend is a great time to celebrate others, share a cup of coffee, directing my focus on God, and meditation on Truth.
The ancient leader, Moses said, “This is what God was talking about: Tomorrow is a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to God. Whatever you plan to bake, bake today; and whatever you plan to boil, boil today. Then set aside the leftovers until morning.” They set aside what was left until morning, as Moses had commanded. It didn’t smell bad and there were no worms in it. (Exodus 16: 23-24, The Message)
First of all, I could sit on these words all day long,
“It didn’t smell bad and there were no worms in it.”
These words make me smile and speak truth to me: Work can wait.
I love to work and I work hard. I like to cross things off and know I am done.
Work can wait . . . it won’t smell bad . . . there will be no worms taking over.
In the end, taking time off on the weekend will increase energy, creativity, productivity . . . and wait for it . . . joy! It means we need to intentionally slow down, decompress, and take a break from the weekly schedule. I’m at my best when I let the weekend be my weekend. Slowing down and taking a break on the weekend is a piece of living our best.
It’s the weekend. Watch for the signs . . . caution . . . slow down. Go fast . . . hurry home . . . enjoy!