Forgive me Father for I have sinned. This is not a confession, but more of an admission.
I guess really, it’s an omission.
You see, for the past nine years, I have omitted to take a vacation. At least, not in the traditional sense. When I was part-time, we spent our vacation days on youth camp. When I went full-time, for a while, we would visit family, which sometimes can be more stressful than facing a church business meeting or youth camp drama. It wasn’t really vacation, but at least it was time away.
However, I haven’t even done that in three years. At my current church, I have yet to take a vacation. Prior to arriving here, I used my vacation time to interview at the church, which isn’t really vacation since you’re “on” the whole time you are in front of the church.
So this year I decided a vacation was in order. We haven’t had time away and it’s starting to show. After spending at least 156 Sundays either at church or on a youth trip or conference, my worship time was getting thin, as was my patience and my focus. The human body and brain was not meant for constant stress, pressure and being “on” all the time.
That’s why God commanded a Sabbath day for the Israelites and a Sabbath year for the land. He knew we needed to rest and relax and reflect so we didn’t burn out. I haven’t burnt out yet, but I know without a break, I would burn out soon. God designed us for rest. I chose to ignore that command.
So, yes, I have sinned. I hurt my family by not taking us away from church life. I hurt my wife by not giving her a break from being a staff wife. I hurt myself by not allowing at least a week of rest from my ministerial life and duties. I must confess and admit.
And boy am I looking forward to some R and R. I plan to relax and not think about ministry or youth ministry for a week. In fact, I’m going off the grid. I will leave my phone in the hotel room. No Facebook or Twitter or texting or phone calls. It’s going to be me, my family and God. I am giddy just thinking about it.
I say all that to say this: take some time to rest. You need it. You were designed for it. Your family, your church and your family need the break.
So scrounge together some money. Heck, do a stay-cation if you need to. But take a break.
You, your church and your family will thank you for it later.