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Remember the Sabbath and Keep It

Mar 15, 2024 | Health & Wellness

A few weeks ago I was visiting with a camp director who expressed their deep weariness.  Their camp was in transition with key staff positions needing to be filled. Their personal life included grieving. And they wondered about the future of the camp – with fewer people investing their time, energy or money into the church or things that build faith. And I know this director is not alone.  Many of us are weary.

I’ve been there. Tired to the bone, working hard because you believe in your ministry, returning one more phone call, responding to one more email, scheduling one more interview. But when we work so hard for so long without adequate rest, we bring ourselves close to the breaking point.

“When is your sabbatical?” I asked my weary colleague. Their response, “I wish.”  (Camp board members, please advocate for sabbatical policies for your ministry staff, and for generous vacation and PTO policies for all staff.)

Is this you, no sabbatical policy and no rest in sight? How are you going to rest, renew and restore. Rest so you don’t pass over the line from overwork into brokenness. So your ministry can thrive. Here are some ideas that you can do now or in the near future.

Daily Sabbath

Schedule it. Mark it in your calendar as do not disturb. It could be as short as five minutes for prayer. It could be as long as an hour’s walk around your property each morning (consider leaving your phone behind, because unplugging isn’t just good for the campers)

Weekly Sabbath

Reminder that this one is commanded, not optional.

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.”

Deuteronomy 5:15-16

Weekly Sabbath: Build in weekly time for rest. A whole day whenever possible. Consider fasting from technology, or adding in people or places that make your heart sing. the rhythm of resting is meant to help us remember that we are God’s beloved and our worth comes from God, not from our to-do list. Pharoah (and the world) counts value by bricks made. God doesn’t count up value, God gives value, and a daily rhythm of sabbath allows us to rest in this belovedness and remember whose we are.

Vacation

Plan occasional vacation and restful opportunities. Please use all your vacation time. Model it for your staff and ensure that they schedule their vacation time as well. If you stay-at-home vacation, mark a transition and disconnect your email. Work with your staff to plan ahead how any emergencies will be covered in your absence and a sample list of reasons they can infringe upon your vacation. (A good rule of thumb – will this make the local news? If yes, its a good reason to end a vacation early.)

As we come close to the summer season, for many camping professionals, we get busier.  Right now, get our your calendar and mark out something in April and May to rest, enjoy, renew, refresh. A date night, a get-together with friends, a two-day hike, a spa day, or whatever rejuvenates you. And then follow through – because your camp deserves to have you at your best and you deserve the rest and delight that God created for you. 

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