Well - here' s the latest from the past few days. After about 14 days without a real break, I took Friday and Saturday off. Day 1 was okay (although I did sneak a bit of work in when Barb wasn't looking...) Saturday was a different story. The problem on running on adrenaline and caffeine is that when you slow down, you crash. Crashing for me usually involves being grumpy and negative. None of this is a good thing for anyone around me so Barb gently suggested that I take a nap in the afternoon. After about 10 minutes she came upstairs and told me (ever so sweetly and yet so very pointedly...) that I needed to get it together and that being grumpy wasn't fair to anyone around me.
The thing with Barb is that she has a wonderful way of getting her message through to me without raising her voice or making a scene. This time was no exception and after about an hour of solitude and rest, I was a much happier boy.
I read a book a few years ago. It was called 'The Contemplative Pastor'. I didn't like it at all but it was exactly what I needed. The author talked about 'the rythmn of the Sabbath'. The idea is that we are made to need a rest every 6 days. When we fail to honor the Sabbath in our lives, we begin to 'wobble' physically, emotionally and spiritually. While it' possible to keep going, our creativity, productivity and general effectiveness starts to decline dramatically and continues to do so the longer we go without a rest. Relationships begin to suffer and we make poor choices all because we fail to rest and be refreshed. These are the consequences of sin, as we fail to honor the Sabbath in our lives. Given enough neglect, we crash and burn and God often provides us with an 'enforced Sabbath' to give us time to properly recover be renewed.
It feels funny to be thinking like this and yet I know that failing to permit myself a Sabbath rest, caused me to be spinning my wheels for most of last week, not to mention the fact that I took out my fatigue on those who are closest to me. Needless to say, I've been making ammends today and it's been much better for everyone around me.
So... while I'm not about to start taking an obligatory nap on Sunday afternoons, I'm learning my lesson about the need to take care of myself while I seek to care for other people.