This past week, I couldn’t help but notice how many conversations had a common theme — depletion. Each time I remarked to that friend or associate how I had heard that from others, they admitted that they had experienced the same thing. Believers, non-believers, right, left — so many of us in a state of depletion and exhaustion. This isn’t how we were meant to live.
Many of us have used the “time out” tactic to discipline our kids. Some send their kids to bed early. (I wish someone would send me to bed early!) We tend to discover as adults that a little separation and rest can go a long way in allowing minds and hearts to clear again. Even Jesus took the occasional “time out” from others. Yet, I notice how little we allow ourselves to take those breaks.
My family and I recently started honoring the Sabbath by keeping boundaries around it to have a true time of rest. Even though it’s only been a couple of months since we’ve been doing this, I’m amazed by the blessings that have come our way and by how much more productive and effective I am the other six days. I want to encourage other believers to really consider the importance of taking a “time out” from work. We weren’t meant to work seven days a week.
I also want to encourage a time out from social media, the news, or whatever else is overwhelming your mind. They’re tools that can be used effectively only until begin to use us. We need a time out. We don’t even have to tell anyone we’re taking the time out. We don’t have to stomp off loudly. We can just go.
Another practice I’ve enjoyed is disabling the notifications on my cell phone and even turning it off completely when all my kids are home. I’m absolutely amazed at the peace I’ve found in taking a break from the constant prompting of my phone.
And I’m going to be bold enough to say that it’s even OK to take a “time out” from other people every now and then — especially if it’s for the purpose of realigning with the Father as Jesus did. We’ve all had a lot of togetherness this year, and we weren’t meant to focus more on each other than on the Lord. If you needed to hear this today, take a break sometime. Breathe, friend. The world will keep turning while you’re in “time out,” and you’ll be better for it.