Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Pendulum of Work and Rest

Old Pendulum Clock
Image via: WikiMedia Commons
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." -John 15:4

In the book Building a Discipling Culture by Mike Breen and Steve Cockram, they use the concept of a pendulum in describing the ebb and flow of work and rest in life. For those who are driven, type A personalities, the concept of rest can seem like a foreign one. Even outside of the professional realm there's a tendency to always be on the go whether in ministry or other pursuits. Slowing down and abiding in God's presence just doesn't come naturally.

It's so critical to do this though. Burn out is a risk when the pedal is always on go. If the pendulum stays pegged on the work side of the equation, at some point, it's going to come off the hinges and rest won't be optional.

There is a temptation to think that doing ministry work is abiding in Jesus. If He has not called you to it, you're operating out of your own power and are on shaky ground. As Oswald Chambers wrote, "Active work and spiritual activity are not the same thing. Active work may be the counterfeit of spiritual activity." -My Utmost for His Highest Only out of time abiding with Him is it possible to be fully alive and functioning how He's designed you. A good resource for learning to abide in Him is The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

Of course the opposite is true as well; there are times when the pendulum needs to swing back the other way and you engage in the work that God has called you to. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them." -Ephesians 2:10 

Is your work/rest pendulum in a healthy place right now? If not, take a few moments to pray about it.

In pursuit of His best,


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