November 22, 2013

Ten Commandments Day 5: Managing the Tension of Life

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work … For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” 

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)

In the Fourth Commandment we are given the means for a balanced life and how to avoid the all-too-common problem of burn out.  Think of it for a moment.  God commands us to take a day off every week!  Workaholics make an idol of their work.  Taking a day off is trusting God to provide while you rest.  Learn to rest in Him by trusting Him to work in your behalf.  The Sabbath simply means a day of rest.  It may be the most violated of the Ten Commandments among Christ followers today.  With all sincerity, we strive to serve God, yet fail to trust God by taking a day off.  Relax!  But, how?  Build into your schedule what I call sacred margin.  Recognize that work and other issues are not so much problems to be solved but tensions to be managed.  Learn to balance your life with sacred margin that allows you to manage the tensions of life.  Margin simply provides space, time, energy and resources that prevent you from running on empty. Sacred margin provides huge benefits for physical, emotional and spiritual restoration that we’ll talk about in tomorrow’s blog.  How much margin do you set aside each week?