STMA STMA : Sabbath

Yes, I realize it’s April Fools Day, but this post isn’t a joke, or even related to that holiday.

Mark 2:27 says, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”
I’ve been on a Sabbath of sorts this month; my wife and I pulled back from the ministry we were doing with our church’s praise team and the men’s and women’s Nav bible studies. We knew that we’d both be extra busy with work this month, but even more than that, we were feeling burnt out. According to the U.S. Army Aeromedical manual,

If chronic fatigue proceeds untreated for too long, the individual will eventually “shut down” and cease functioning occupationally and socially. Motivational exhaustion is also known as burnout.

I checked, and since our wedding last May, we’d only missed two services at church, and it was because we were at a church retreat. We’d been there for both services, every Sunday, plus praise team rehearsal Wednesday night, Navs leader study Monday night, and Navs meetings on Thursday nights. We were burnt out.

There was something else, though. The ministry that I was doing had become a source of personal pride to me. I was starting to get stuck up about how much ministry I did and how good I was at it. Which is really sad, because I was barely doing anything worthwhile, and I wasn’t even all that good at it!

I didn’t realize how hard it would be to step back and let someone else have the credit for the praise team and for leading a small group at Navs. I didn’t realize how much of my self worth was from an inflated view of my ministry. I really thought, somewhere deep inside, that God needed me to make things happen around here. And I was wrong. The praise team is still praising, the Navs are still studying, people are still learning about and worshiping their Savior. That would be Jesus, not me. God doesn’t need me.
What’s great is that He loves me anyway. And He created the Sabbath, for me to rest and de-stress, but also for me to reflect and hopefully understand that He is God.