Are you a human being or a human doing?

I’ll admit it. I’m a recovering workaholic, approval-seeking, flock-driving, uncompromising, unbending, hard-nosed, demanding, impossible to please…pastor.

Huh? Wow! That seems wrong. (True…but wrong.)

After spending a quarter of a century as a “driven” pastor, I am thankful that a collection of board and staff members, friends, text mentors, retreat leaders…and mostly God…have helped me experience a fresh, free way to “be” with God. I’m not sure why I didn’t learn these things in seminary!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still a learner in this area. Still recovering. Seems to me that it will always be so. The spiritual disciplines that I am now making a regular part of my life have a different feel to them than anything I’ve ever “done.” They aren’t tasks to master. They are experiences to live out…adventures with no stopping place…but a very real “destination”…the presence of our loving God.

As a leadership team, the board and staff of KidZ At Heart have been discussing how to practice spiritual disciplines that will allow God to speak into our ministry and our shared spiritual leadership. One of our desires at this time is to practice Sabbath rest. (Sabbath is one of those concepts that professional ministry leaders forgot long ago in our business to “put on” church.)

For some, Sabbath seems like a “burden” that was lifted in Christ. Paul even tells us: “Do not let anyone judge you…with regard to…a Sabbath day” (Col 2:16). But our desire is not to be religious observers of a “rule” that will “earn” us God’s favor.

Rather, we lean on Jesus’ explanation: “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mk 2:27). Taking that regular rest away from ministry, work, striving, achieving…is God’s design for health.

It’s God’s design for us to have a special space to be with our beloved Daddy. And it is a good time!

No…I don’t claim to have arrived. But I’m far enough along to be very, very excited about what practicing spiritual disciplines has begun to do in my life. So…all I have to say to you, my friend, is… “I once was blind, but now I see.” Join me in the journey!


2 thoughts on “Are you a human being or a human doing?

  1. I agree! Sabbath is a time for me to “unplug” and enjoy God. There are things I do differently on Sunday, just to make it different from every other day. I do ministry on Sunday, but I choose ministry that I enjoy. When I have to do ministry on a Sunday that seems like a chore to me, I make my Sabbath a different day, a different time. God sure knew our needs when telling us to take a Sabbath.

  2. taking “sabbath” rest is so important for our rhythms of life! Even the time I take to be still before the Lord on a daily basis is like a mini-sabbath for me.
    My husband is a pastor so Sundays are not really a day of rest for us. A wise counselor, early in our marriage and ministry lifestyle, advised us to set another day of the week as our own sabbath. We endeavor to set aside Fridays as our time to walk a path of peace, personal connection with each other and God, and to play.
    Gordon, you are right about saying “Sabbath is not about a “rule” or a way of earning “approval” from God or KidZ. We just need to develop rhythms of work and rest. And a weekly day of rest from the weariness of ministry seems to be a really good idea.”
    Sabbath can’t be a rule but a part of the rhythm of our weekly schedules. If we don’t plan to set that day aside the plans and demands will take over!!
    Thanks for sharing!

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