After a really great vacation, I'm feeling refreshed and excited to be back in the saddle. The last season of ministry (the last year or so...) has been an extremely busy and taxing one and I allowed myself to go far too long without taking care of myself physically, emotionally and, to some extent, spiritually.
I may have shared this before and if so, consider it a reminder that you may need as much as I have recently: "TIME OUTS" ARE A REALLY IMPORTANT THING!
Think about a football game. In each game, teams are given three timeouts per half, or a total of SIX per game. When used wisely, these timeouts help teams re-group, re-fresh, re-strategize and re-focus for the task at hand. I think the same is true in our personal lives....we all need to call Time Out once in a while. Admittedly, I'm not the best at taking my timeouts, but I do have a strategy I try to follow and it looks something like this:
Daily Time Out: Two or Three short, 20 minute breaks each day to clear my head and think about something....anything....other than the daily grind.
Weekly Time Out: A true sabbath every week. Not checking emails, not "dropping by" the office for an hour. A day to relax, refresh and re-coup.
Monthly Time Out: One day a month to escape from the office for a "mini-sabbatical". I read, pray, dream, journal etc.
Yearly Time Out: Actually, I try (but don't usually succeed) to take three weeks off per year: Two traditional vacation breaks with my family, and one that is "Kurt focused". This past vacation was an example of a Kurt-focused timeout. I went on two separate camping/dirt bike trips, laid around a lot, and took my wife on dates to restaurants of my choosing.
Your Time Out plan certainly doesn't need to look like mine, but I would encourage you to have one.