Tis The Stressful Season

The more distracted and stressed we become the less we are inclined to hear God’s voice in our daily lives. God’s Word clearly reveals that revelation is born from rest. 

Heb 4:11-12 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword… NIV

Notice that rest and revelation come in sequence together. Purposing to enter into rest comes before the living and active word of God comes. The Sabbath is more important than we realize. Technically sundown Friday to sundown Saturday is the Sabbath according to the Bible. This is the day of rest.

It is important that we not become legalistic about this but we must not abandon something that God gives so much priority to in Scripture. Clearly rest, restoration and recreation (the re-creation of yourself) are all vitally important to our overall wellbeing. God designed us to function productively for six days before we need to refuel. Purposing time once a week to be refreshed on purpose is part of the plan for us to be at our best. 

It is dangerous to tamper with God’s carefully engineered design.

Agricultural science teaches us that fields yield a better crop if they are given strategic rest from production is part of their process. Less is more in God’s Kingdom with our time and with our money. I found it interesting to discover that the average Sonic brings in somewhere around $1 million per year. The average McDonalds brings in somewhere around $1.5 million per year. In comparison Chick-fil-A only operates six days a week openly declaring they are honoring the Sabbath and they bring in somewhere around $2.5 million per year.

Purposing a sacred portion that is consecrated only to him unlocks His blessing in amazing ways! It takes discipline to prioritize a consecrated lifestyle with resources of our lives and you must start with what you have. It is a lie that you’ll develop a different pattern if you’re given more. America is tremendously wealthy in comparison to other nations of the world yet the #1 reported stress in the average household in this wealthy nation is financial stress. More money hasn’t solved the problem of financial problems in our land.

As technology first began to emerge Americans were told that a technological utopia was just over the horizon where we would be technologically leveraged in such a way that we could more productive with four hours than eight lessening the workday. George Jetson’s button-pushing 3-hour workday seemed to be a reality. Everybody today is empowered to accomplish more work in less time than anybody was 40 years ago.

What happened with all that leveraged time? We became more stressed about how we never have enough time. Distracted resources hijack your destiny. 

Wasting time and wasting money on things that have no eternal value keep you from investing time and investing money things that produce eternal reward.

One of the greatest enemies to effective ministry is a busy schedule.  

An experiment was conducted with students at Princeton Theological Seminary[1]. Students were informed that they would be recorded when speaking on an assigned topic in another building. On the pathway, they would walk and the students encountered a “victim” slumped in a doorway. Half of the students were assigned to talk on the good Samaritan parable. Some were told they were late and should hurry, some were told they had just enough time to get to the recording room, and some were told they would arrive early.

The variable that made a difference was how much of a hurry they were in. Sixty-three percent of those who were in no hurry stopped to help, forty-five percent of those in a moderate hurry stopped, and ten percent of those that were in a great hurry stopped. It made no difference whether the students were assigned to talk on the good Samaritan parable.

The way we structure our schedules has a profound impact on how we translate beliefs into behavior.

We have no indication from the Scripture that Jesus ever rushed from place to place trying to fit everything in. Yet the weight of the world truly was resting upon his shoulders. Somehow he was able to effectively respond to interruptions without neglecting purposeful opportunities in those unexpected moments of time. How do you respond to people when they interrupt your busy schedule? This question has forced me to face a painful reality in my own life. However, being honest about our weakness is not the only way we receive help but it’s also the way we mentor others effectively.

What happens if you budget 100% of your income for 100% of your daily expenses? Anything extra is painfully taxing. It is the same with your time! Purpose your Sabbath whatever that looks like for you!

[1] Darley, JM and Batson, CD, “‘From Jerusalem to Jericho’: A study of situational and dispositional variables in helping ehavior,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 27 (1973).

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