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Ok.  So last week, I returned from vacation with my family.  We had an awesome time.  We have some more memories together that we will always treasure.

And I needed that time off.  I mean really needed it.

On vacation, I started thinking about the importance of breaks & rests (or "sabbaths," if you want to get all Biblical on me).

I love how God describes our need for breaks in Mark 2:27.  God didn’t make us for the Sabbath (as if He gets some religious kick out of controlling our lives).  Instead, God made Sabbaths (i.e. breaks) to help us — to make our lives better so we don’t burn out.  We all need them.  I heard a quote one time that’s so true (I think it was from Ed Young, Jr.):

"If you don’t take breaks in your schedule, your schedule will break you!"

I’ve seen people break before.  Big crashes.  Slow suffocations.  I’ve felt like I was cracking more than once, too.  Some people crack.  Some people just stop trying.  Or become pretenders.

I thought about what keeps us from burning out.  Here’s my idea for a "recipe for longevity."  Seems like we need all three things:

  • Spend time with God on a daily basis where you really meet with Him
    • If you don’t hear from God, you’ll burn out
    • If you don’t share your heart with God, you’ll burn out
    • If you aren’t consistent, you’ll burn out
  • Work hard with a team of people for God where you are seeing lives change
    • If you aren’t serving God, you’ll waste your life
    • If you are a lone ranger, you’ll burn out
    • If you don’t see lives change, you’ll give up
  • Retreat periodically for a time of rest & recuperation
    • If you don’t get away yearly (i.e. vacation), you’ll burn out
    • If you don’t take time off each week (i.e. day off), you’ll burn out
    • If you don’t take timeouts each day (i.e. mental breaks), you’ll burn out

Every time I’ve seen someone flame out (or stared in the face a flame-out), it’s because of one or more of these areas.  Find this true?