Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Finding Rest - A Series of Sprints, Not a Marathon

I spoke on Sunday about finding rest in our days, weeks and years (all of which starts with finding rest for our souls). Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to do some blogs just to remind us of some of the key principles I touched on, and hopefully to encourage all of us to actually put some of them into practice!

Quite a few years ago now I ran the London Marathon. Well, I say ran! I actually managed to run the first 20 miles, then "hit the wall" and had to walk the last 6. It strikes me that I often treat my day as being like a marathon. From the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep I'm on the go, answering emails, meeting people, doing jobs around the house, all with little time to stop, often even having breakfast and lunch whilst still working. And often my day can feel like my London Marathon experience. The longer it goes on the more tired and frustrated I feel and the slower and slower I get, until I'm forced to stop.

It was only recently that someone pointed out to me how differently God approaches work. He clearly has no need to stop, He is all powerful and could keep going for all eternity without a break. Yet several times in the Genesis accounts of creation we see God taking stops, not only after 6 days to have a Sabbath rest, but also during the days of work, where God stops what He is doing, sits back and reflects that all that He has done so far "was good". He stops.

So here's my encouragement for today. Have lots of stops. Every 30 to 45 minutes take a break (and if you've still got it, eat the Kit-Kat you got on Sunday of you were there). And when you stop do something which isn't work. Go for a walk. Make a coffee. Play angry birds. Read a book. Listen to a song.

And what you'll find over a day is that by finding the rhythm of work and rest you'll achieve far more in a day than you could by working flat out. You'll avoid hitting the wall and keep running all the way until you cross the line for the day. More about that next time :)


ps For anyone looking for more ideas on how to split your day into a series of sprints take a look at a time management technique called Pomodoro - it makes me laugh how all the "new fangled" ideas like this which actually work find their root in Biblical principles.

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