By Elizabeth Prata
Is taking some time to refresh yourself on the weekends dropping the ball on our biblical duty to care for others, first? This was a discussion with a reader. I know I sometimes feel like I’m failing my Lord if I’m not using every single minute for His name, to be busy doing something. I feel guilty on Saturdays when I use the day to do home chores, take a nap, and refresh myself alone. I am busy as per 1 Thessalonians 4:10b-11,
But we urge you, brothers and sisters, to excel even more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we instructed you, (1 Thessalonians 4:10-11).
I even named my other blog The Quiet Life because I take this verse so seriously.
I think it is wise to know your limits, and what you need. We aren’t doormats. We do pour out our lives for others but not in ways that leave us nothing to pour. Mindful busy-ness is the key.
Let’s look to the scriptures for an example- “But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” (Luke 5:16)
Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, on Luke 5:16
“And he withdrew himself into the wilderness – Or rather, He frequently withdrew into the desert. This I believe to be the import of the original words, ην ὑποχωρων. He made it a frequent custom to withdraw from the multitudes for a time, and pray, teaching hereby the ministers of the Gospel that they are to receive fresh supplies of light and power from God by prayer, that they may be the more successful in their work; and that they ought to seek frequent opportunities of being in private with God and their books.”
Jesus withdrew often, to think, recharge, pray. Once you see it in the Gospel, it’s everywhere. “Jesus withdrew”…
Alternately, it’s good not to let a short period of refreshment turn into a pattern of laziness. I find that listening to or reading Reagan Rose’s Redeeming Productivity podcast & blog helps keep the idea of productive productivity in the forefront of my mind. Overstressing ourselves or constant busy-ness for the sake of being busy is more tiring than intentional productivity punctuated with short periods of refreshing.
However you take your re-charging, by walking or hiking, playing a sport, quiet alone time in nature, reading, I do think it’s important to combine those times with prayer and quiet contemplation amid the busy pouring out the Bible calls us to do.