Is Your Lack Of A Day Off Killing You?

It’s Friday and it’s my day off. (I drafted this post on a Wednesday). If you are in  ministry, you have heard the importance of taking a good day off! Why?

  • The extra hours that come up each week that you and your family didn’t plan
  • The late night phone calls, or phone calls during dinner / family time
  • The brain that never switches off from ministry
  • The lost sleep because of a student or family who is being torn apart by sin
  • The weekend retreat that created the 100 hour week

Do these sound familiar? Maybe you could add a few to this list? But here’s the deal:

Lack of a day off and lack of planning on your day off could be slowly killing you…

I speak from experience when I tell you that I have run on empty too many times. I speak from painful experience when I tell you that my spiritual walk has taken a back seat and my family gets the left-overs because I have allowed ministry to consume me. Because of my painful experiences I am learning, (note that I said “learning”), how imperative it is to have a scheduled day off each week AND to ensure that I have a plan for that day.

Without a plan on our day off, we are likely to allow our day off to default back to ministry and the complexity of life…

Instead of allowing my day off to ‘default’  back to ministry, I have learned to create a plan for my day off that incorporates the following essentials for me, (and my wife).

  • Alone time with God
  • Alone time at the coffee shop reading. (My wife takes the first two hours, I take the next two hours, since we have kids).
  • Exercise – Whether it’s a mountain bike ride, (I am doing that this week), or going for a run, I find that exercise energizes me.
  • Family time – On Friday when we are all home, we try to do something fun as a family and ensure that we have talked about the plan ahead of time…

I know these ‘defaults’ of mine might seem simple and straightforward, but without planning them into my day off, I usually ‘drift’ back to the default of ministry.

Is your day off drifting back to the default of ministry or your planned defaults? How is your day off refreshing you? Are you running on empty and need to make a better plan?

Finally, what fills your tank? What would you add to your day off defaults? 

Phil <><

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