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COLUMN: Taking a break is biblical

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By Jon Rohr

Sometimes it seems that life is like a runaway train.  It’s going too fast to jump off and it is just too big to stop.  You look down the track and before you know it birthdays and anniversaries blow by. 
The work week flies and Friday night bumps into Monday morning so fast that you wonder if you really had a weekend.
Do you ever just want to stomp on the brakes as hard as you can so you can stop for a few minutes?  Just take a break, catch your breath? 
It can be hard to find breathing room in our busy, cluttered, and stress- filled lives.
And I think the Lord who made us knows that we need those down times, we need that rest, that time of refreshing.
The Bible talks about the Sabbath rest, taking a day off.  God did it after creating the world (Gen 2:2).  Then in the 10 Commandments, God tells us to remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy (Ex 20:8).  And then there is Jesus who reminds us that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27 NIV) God is trying to tell us we need a break!
I must admit, as a pastor it is hard sometimes to get a real break, to get a Sabbath rest. Sundays are days or worship, but also days of work for pastors. 
I know it is not just pastors though, jobs are tight and when the boss asks for you to work over, you work over.  And then when you get home there is always yard work or dishes, fixing dinner or some home repair job that needs to be tackled. 
Let me suggest a couple of things.  First, find a way to take a real day off every week. 
And you don’t always have to fill it with activities, make it a day dedicated to taking that breather we all need.  Talk to your family about it, work on it together so that you can share it together.  The other thing is, try to get a few minutes of down time every day. 
Maybe get up a few minutes earlier and spend a few minutes alone with God.  Perhaps you could take a few minutes after dinner and just visit with your family.  Too many of us have gulp and go syndrome!
Everybody needs some down time.  Make it a priority and let God bring His refreshing to your life.