On Productivity, Part 2 of 3

Rick Mattson Bible, Devotion, Leadership Leave a Comment

Part 1 is here.

Due to covid confinement this past year, I stayed at home, worked alone . . . overdosed on Zoom calls.

It was an unwelcome slow-down. One of the blessings, however, was that I was forced into a period of personal reflection, with no chance for escape. I couldn’t bolt over to campus or church, couldn’t engage in public ministry.

So I sat there by myself, thinking and praying.

First thing I noticed in solitude was something quite unexpected: I was overdue for an oil change. Not in my car. Rather, the ministry engine inside me had been running constantly for thousands of miles, and it needed maintenance, needed rest.

I was more tired than I knew. The lockdown should have been the perfect solution. Alas, internment came with its own unique brand of fatigue. So then I was 2x tired.

Three sources inspired me to seek serious rest. One was Alan Fadling’s An Unhurried Life. The author argues persuasively that rest precedes work, not the other way around. Work flows out from rest. I guess I knew that. But I hadn’t taken it to heart, not recently.

Second, I studied Jeremiah. The prophet spends a lot of time with God, talking and weeping and complaining. He doesn’t seem overly concerned about getting every theological point right. He just uncorks.

Third, my supervisor, Melodie, insists that all her people take regular retreats and days of sabbath rest.

So by the prodding of a modern author, a 6th c. BC prophet, and a wise boss, I decided to shut down the computer and turn off the phone and park my body before the Lord for an extended period of recovery. I did this many times the past few months.

Next post: Three things I learned from protracted rest.

Image by Jose Antonio Alba from Pixabay

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