You are familiar no doubt with the phrase “let’s take five” – to take a five or ten minute break before returning to work. Most places of occupation have some type of work break through the day. These short bursts of breaks are effective in many ways, from quick energy boosts to regained focus (coffee doesn’t hurt either). In an even greater sense, you are likely able to accrue longer periods of time to be away to get some valuable rest and relaxation.
Recently, I traveled with my family to the Florida gulf coast and wow, was it a stunning place! The combination of miles of powdery white sand and incredible crystal clear waters provide for hues of vivid color that look as if edited with a image filter. But even more, the beauty of that time, even time in traffic (thanks Alabama) with my family was a huge boost; a massive recharge to my soul.
If you’re like me and serve in ministry, we are awful good at guilt tripping ourselves that this time away is not okay, or a waste or idle. How could we take a break when there is Kingdom work at hand? True, there is no off switch on the mandate we are given; but in order to avoid personal burnout, moral failure, and/or the neglect of our families these times are critical. Thankfully I serve at a church and with a group of ministers who understand the value of the recharge! Thank you Jesus for your example of going off to the hillside to spend time alone with the Father.
I learned a very valuable and handy concept from one of my good friends about how to think about time and how we invest it. Jeremie Kubicek penned a book from his insights in dealing with leaders and their management of time called 5 Gears: How to Be Present and Productive When There is Never Enough Time. And no, we are not talking simply about how to handle your schedule and appointments. Rather, Jeremie helps us explore our presence behind the schedule – where’s your focus and attention? He explores and unpacks how to maximize the types of time we have every day, every month, and every year. He shares these times of focus in the form of gears, like selecting the right gear at the right time in a car.
Which takes me back to family vacation. Through the concepts of this book, I not only understand the importance of the gears and what gear vacation time is, but how to use this gear/time to the fullest by how I set my mind during it. I fully engaged the right gear for the right time. When I returned to work, I returned with my soul energized and refueled with my most important relationships – to God, and to my family – empowered.