It’s Not Always Easy To Slow Down

Labor Day is one of my favorite holidays to grill out. BBQ chicken — I’m ready! This is a great day to chill and enjoy some good family time.

Easy right?

Not always.

The truth is that for many of us going to work comes easier than staying home to play. Or perhaps it’s that work seems more pressing than a day off. There are many variables behind this truth, but the point here is that taking time off is essential for healthy living, and especially for busy leaders.

So, I’m writing to all of us today who need to take a day off but are tempted to work instead. My first thought is this post can’t be too long! I don’t want you to have to “work” to get through it.

Here’s a 3-point prescription for your soul on Labor Day:

1) Start with generous amounts of grace.

God made you an individual. You have distinct passions, a certain amount of energy, a unique family system, etc. So, don’t let anyone tell you there is one way to live life in a healthy manner. Figure out what is right for you.

  • How do you replenish your spirit, mind, and body?
  • How do you refresh your soul?

Give yourself grace. Allow yourself room to discover a good rhythm that helps you to walk with God, serve your family and lead in your church. It’s not a formula; it’s what works for you. You won’t always get it right, but it’s essential that you head in the right direction.

2) Have a cup of coffee with God.

This is the best daily habit you could ever have; regardless if a holiday, day off, or regular work day. Don’t let the demands of work steal this from you.

Start with gratitude.

Gratitude is always a great place to begin a time of prayer and reflection with God. What are you thankful for? Express your gratitude to God.

Don’t be in a rush. God isn’t.

Take several minutes to reflect on a scripture. For example, Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God.” There is great comfort in knowing God is in control, and you are not. Rest in that. Be still. Know that and have certainty, confidence and find strength in the fact that He is God. He loves you and is with you.

Offer up any anxious part of your heart. Reflect on Psalm 139:23: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.”

Talk with God about what’s on your heart and in your mind.

  • Start with big prayers. “Thy Kingdom Come” — change the world prayers.
  • Move to purpose prayers. The mission of your church and life change prayers.
  • End with your personal prayers. From your family to your personal needs.

P.S. I drink tea (not coffee), but God said I can still go to heaven. I just don’t get to hang with the cool people.

3) Live each day in the present.

Leaders sometimes struggle to live in the present. They are usually thinking future oriented, and they are mentally out in front anticipating and solving problems. That’s a good thing, but not if it robs you of the ability live in and enjoy the present moment.

So, enjoy the holiday. Set all your pressures and problems aside for a while. Toss some burgers on the grill and get some chill time with people you love and care about.

2 thoughts on “It’s Not Always Easy To Slow Down”

  1. “Be still and know that I am God.” There is great comfort in knowing God is in control, and you are not. Powerful, powerful, insight. It is so sad that many Christians never get this. Philippians 3:10 says “I want to know Christ, and experience the power that raised Jesus from the dead.” Our minds focus on what we think we need to be doing for God, when all the time God says, I’m in control, you are not. Just get a cup of coffee and “know me.” And without realizing it, His “rivers of living water” (John 7:38) will begin flowing through us. God will only give to us what he knows will flow through us. I love the thought that I can be so at rest, so at peace, so intimate and real in my relationship with God that I am even unaware of many of the things He does through me because my only desire is to know Him, not to do things for Him. So many times we define greatness as being the extraordinary; but I tend to think of real greatness more as consistency in the ordinary. I once heard someone talking about the greatness of some of our baseball heroes, like Ozzie Smith, who is arguably the best fielding shortstop ever. They said what makes players like him great is not that they make plays that look extraordinary but that they make every play look routine. Great insight you’ve given us to think on today.

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