It's 9am on Christmas Eve and we've only got three more meetings to go this year - 4pm and 11pm today and 10am on Christmas Day. The finishing line is in sight! It's been a really good year, especially with the impact of all the Christmas events and for me with my sabbatical earlier in the year, but like I suspect many of us I'm ready for a break.
Once it gets to 11.30am on Christmas morning and the last people have left the Kerith Centre we'll take the short drive home to enjoy a meal, films and games with just the five of us. On Boxing Day we'll have both of our wider families over for the day, then through to New Year we'll be relaxing with lots of dog walks, food, book reading, TV watching and not doing anything that looks like work! That for me will include turning off all my email (both Kerith and Hitachi), not writing any blogs, sermons or doing anything else work related (other than of course dealing with any genuine emergencies which come up).
I know that some of us don't get the luxury of stopping over Christmas, but for those of us who do please can I encourage us to make the most of the break. Life was designed by God to be lived with rhythm, times when we work hard and times when we rest. It's when we don't find that rhythm that we all go a bit cranky and start to get overstresed and not very pleasant people to be around! Remember the four elements of sabbath (stop, rest, contemplate and delight) and try to make sure you experience all of those over the coming days.
I believe 2016 is going to be an exciting year for us all, but we are only going to get the most out of it when we experience it from a place of rest. That starts with what we all do over the next few days.
ps For those who don't get to stop over the next few days, for whatever reason, thank you for what you do to allow the rest of us to take a break! But you too need to find time in the New Year where you too can stop, rest, contemplate and delight. Why not plan it in now :)