If you are like me, you are wired to be on the go. I often say that we only get one life, so I want to make mine count. I constantly feel pressure to do as much as I can with this one life I get to live. James told us life is a vapor (4:14), so I know it goes by quickly. I don’t want to be on my deathbed wishing I had accomplished more.
At the same time, being always on the go is not healthy. There have been times where I have been running full speed ahead, and run right into a brick wall (figuratively, of course). We need to learn the art of resting and rejuvenating. The Bible calls this idea Sabbath.
In his wonderfully encouraging book Replenish, Lance Witt wrote, “Following Jesus cannot be done at a sprint. You can’t live life at warp speed without warping your soul.” Captain Kirk used to tell Mr. Sulu to put the Enterprise in warp speed, and I have a tendency to put my own life at warp factor ten. But that is not a sustainable pace.
The Apostle Paul once lamented a time when he was physically run down: “For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within (2 Corinthians 7:5).” This left him in no shape to minister.
This is not a call to laziness. Sabbath and Sluggard are enemies. The Holy Spirit has filled every believer with a gift that He expects us to put to use, so please do not think this is a pitch for passivity.
Witt also wrote, “You need both a fire in the belly and a spiritual recliner to be healthy. In fact, you must have both.” I enjoy a comfortable recliner, but too much time there can lead to apathy, and that is the pendulum swinging too far the other way.
So what does Witt mean by a spiritual recliner? It is the place where we unplug and rest. Just because you are off the clock doesn’t mean you have stopped working. In your spiritual recliner you do not return job related emails or text messages; you don’t even think about work. There will be plenty of time to think about work when you are at work.
In your spiritual recliner you talk to the Lord as if He is sitting right there, because He is. You read your Bible and meditate on God’s promises.
And this is important: in your spiritual recliner, you do not feel guilty about the time you think you are wasting. This is time well spent. You might watch a baseball game, read a book, or play solitaire on your phone. Whatever you do in your spiritual recliner, make sure you take time to rest before you warp your soul.