The Sabbath Principle dictates that we need to establish regularly scheduled rest time, retreats from the stress and grind of daily life. As we plan for personal growth remember that we grow through stress and relief (or release). As a body builder develops strong muscle by tearing muscle tissue through exercise (stress). The growth actually occurs when the muscle is rested the next day and the body repairs the small tears. Most everything in life works this way, times of great exercise or stress followed by a release or a Sabbath.
In his paper called “Developing a One Year Growth Plan” Nelson Searcy wrote about this principle when he said that we need to “Abandoning Annually, Measuring Monthly, Withdrawing Weekly and Diverting Daily.”
Abandoning Annually – At least once a year you need to abandon your profession and take a vacation with your family. Your vacation needs to be a date written in stone, non-negotiable. I know people who tell me that they haven’t had a vacation in years. I tell them that burn-out is inevitable.
If you get two or more weeks vacation, next plan a spiritual vacation. Schedule a week to attend a conference or seminar. Get around spiritual leaders and people who will challenge the business as usual of your walk with the Lord.
Measure Monthly – Take time to look at the goals you’ve set and see how you did over the last month. No condemnation, just honest evaluation. Remember that there is no responsibility without accountability therefore, Mentor Monthly also. I have fiscal accountability built in with our board, spiritual accountability to my pastor, a church coach who keeps me accountable for personal growth and ministry development. I mentor a great group of up and coming leaders who are also in my small group.
Withdraw Weekly -Do you keep the Sabbath? But Pastor Lon, we’re under New Testament grace now and we celebrate the Lord’s Day on Sundays. That’s not what I asked. Do you have a day set aside to rest from your work and devote to thinking of things of the Kingdom of God? We were created with a physical, emotional and spiritual need for occasional rest.
Under the Communist Regime the Soviets changed the work week from 6 days to 10 days. They felt their society would be the most productive on the planet. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? Well they soon found out. Within a year, sick time quadrupled, accidents on the job doubled, divorce rose, drunkenness and violence increased. They quietly changed the work week back to 6 days and rest on the 7th. They learned through trial and error what the Bible taught us years ago, men were made to rest weekly.
Divert Daily – Invest in your most important relationships daily. Make time for God every day. It’s great to spend time first thing in the morning because then you know you won’t miss it. If you’re not a morning person schedule lunch or evening time and keep the appointment! Then invest time in your spouse or other family members by having a meal with them, talk about your day. You’ll be glad you did.
If you don’t control your calendar then it will control you! Stop letting other people’s schedules control your agenda. Set your time up according to God’s plan and watch your growth explode.