Recently I was at the pastors retreat for the Alliance churches of BC. We heard Mark Buchanan speak. He is the author of ‘THE REST OF GOD’ a great book I recommend to you.
Here is a diagnostic list for you that he shared with us. Mark shared that these kinds of lists can be a little dangerous but they can also be a good tool to ask yourself some questions about your own self-care. It is also not an exhaustive list - i.e. there may be items that you could add to make it more personalized for yourself or others.
So I encourage you - don’t be too hard on yourself, but read this list, reflect and process it a little bit. I think we could all be encouraged to rest in God more… And by the way - Sabbath rest obviously does not have to happen on a Sunday! Find times for resting in God (tuning out all distractions - getting silent) at whatever time / place during the week you can!
You know you need sabbath rest when…
- your emotional response to a situation is disproportionate to the trigger of that response (your friend is 5 minutes late or your child spills their drink and it is as if the world is caving in)
- you are both restless and listless (want to do something but don’t care enough about anything, so you remain unmoved)
- you have a growing resentment against ___ (fill in the blank: work, spouse, kids, other drivers etc…)
- you complain a lot about __, and obsess over it rather than changing it
- other people start their conversations with you by saying “I know you are busy, but…”
- your intimacy with God starts diminishing
- you feel entitled or “owed” something
- you being feeling sorry for yourself, undervalued or under-appreciated
- you fantasize more and more (escapism from real life)
- old temptations/anxieties re-awaken with increased intensity
- physical health issues begin to arise
- you stop caring about what you really care about
(Source - MARK BUCHANAN teaching at BC district Alliance church pastor’s retreat)
Friends - don’t be overwhelmed by this. Just respond by carving out time to REST in God. Some quiet time, some reflection, some scripture, some prayer, some sleep! If there is absolutely no time in your life, just start small - 15 minutes, then fight for 20 minutes, then try and carve out 30 minutes or an hour.
May we all find a little bit more REST in God this week and every day.