Sandy and I just got home from a great vacation. We are discovering how to do vacation and not need a vacation to recoup from our vacation- been there? Too many times (like last year) we have spent our vacation driving everywhere only to get home tired and in need of rest! Last year we drove over 2000 miles! If that works for you- great. It did not work for us. So when we approached this year we made a plan to change the pace and we succeeded. The first week we spent with our kids and their spouses at New Smyrna Beach. Great week. To unplug I:
- Had a slow devotion every morning (you know, relaxed)
- Went online only once every couple of days
- Stayed away from email and my phone
- Took my watch off
- Just hung out and worked on being present
Our second week was just Sandy and I. We spent some time in Orlando and then finished up at the beach for a few days. During that time I:
- Did not go online on my computer
- I did use my phone to check on weather and movies
When we arrived home we felt great!
I say this to ask you- Have you discovered a rhythm that works for you? God has wired us to live life at a pace that is sustainable and honoring to Him. More often than not our burnout is because of our poor management of our discretionary time. So let me ask you some diagnostic questions about your rhythms:
- Do you return from vacation replenished or in need of replenishment?
- Do you take off at least one day a week? I am amazed at the pastors I know who don’t practice a weekly Sabbath.
- Are your kids so involved in sports that they miss important things? Like: family vacation, family time, engagement in weekly worship, youth group. 20 years from now you will see the results- character matters.
- Are you learning contentment or are you driven? Contentment doesn’t mean you are satisfied or lazy. Contentment breeds gratefulness- are you grateful? Driven-ness breeds soul weariness- are you tired all the time?
- Are you sleeping at night? This affects so many things- cortisol levels, depression, focus and more. This is an area I am looking at right now. It seems like my sleep apnea surgery is no longer working. So I have a doctor’s appointment this week.
I honestly think the balanced life is impossible. At different stages we have to set priorities. I do believe the Christ-centered life is sustainable when we understand our rhythms. When we understand how to replenish ourselves daily, weekly and yearly I believe we can lead a life of purpose and impact without killing our souls or family. I learned early how to replenish my soul by spending time with God daily. If you are interested in a tool to help you spend time daily with God I recommend this book I wrote- How to Spend Time with God. If you would like a free copy of this book, click here for a downloadable PDF.
Bottom line- following Jesus is an adventure to be lived not a duty to endure!