Wow. It’s hard to believe that I am finishing my longest vacation in probably 5 years! But I am. Vacations are vitally important to me and my family. To be honest, I used to feel guilty for going on vacation. I really thought in my heart that God wanted me to “burn out” for Him, but all that has changed over the last several years. We get away as often as we can – but the last 9 days has been so refreshing. I am ‘good to go.’
Why take a break?
- It is God’s Way of recharging our batteries. The sabbath is a day that we are supposed to set aside. God knew that you and I are supposed to stop and relax so that we can push for the long haul, not just the short term.
- Family sees their priority. Mary, Malachi & Abigayl need to see that they are a priority in my life. Taking a break, going away or even taking a day off to spend with them shows them they are more valuable than what I do.
- Health is protected. You can keep up a speedy peace on a sprint, but not on a marathon. Ministry is a marathon. When you are dreaming long you don’t have to dream fast. Fast-paced living often leads to other physical issues. Because pastors are not good at self-care we have to STOP and care for ourselves – it is okay!
- Your perspective is better. When you get out of the Bible of small vision and see other situations your view is much better. Busy-ness blocks our ability to know our viewpoints, but breaks clarify it.
- Your vision is clearer. I get amped up after a get away. I am totally filled with more excitement and passion because I took 9 days to spend with my amazing family!
- Your communication is enhanced. I have focused time to spend with God. This allows my sermons to have better content, focus and follow-through because I am not facing the everyday pressures of leadership.
- The church sees first hand your commitment to family. This is huge. Family is de-valued in our culture … I want our church to see the powerful commitment I have to my family!
I am so thankful for guys who push me to take a break. A few months ago Gary Bruegman sat me down and told me, “You are a work-a-holic.” Ouch, but necessary. Before he left we made 3 adjustments to my life and schedule. It has been huge! Plus my good friend, Buddy Cremeans, has challenged me to EXHALE from time to time. And he checks in to make sure I am. Man, I love friends like these two!!!
Don’t burnout … build up your life by honoring God with enjoying life a little bit. It is okay!