Weekly Impact is written for leaders by our former Executive Director, Garth Jestley, who has decades of experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector. Each week he will share insights on life, leadership and faith.
This is the second of a two-part series addressing the question: “Am I a slave of my task list?” Last week, I dealt with the tension that sometimes occurs between fulfilling the Great Commandment to love others and completing important tasks. Today, I want to address how to find rest in the midst of the constant pressure of unfinished tasks.
According to the Bible, when promulgating His law for the nation of Israel, God included a command to keep Sabbath, a day when no work is permitted. While some today assume that God did this to show who’s boss, this command was actually intended for our own good.
I remember a day not long ago when shopping (an all too common task generator!) was illegal on Sunday in Ontario. In 1992, the 85 year ban on Sunday shopping was removed. As a result, we must exercise our will in 2017 to avoid the task of shopping on Sunday!
Over the past several years, I have been cultivating the habit of turning off the task list on Sundays. Put differently, I try my best to avoid doing anything in the “ought to” category on Sundays as distinct from activities in which I choose to engage. It’s ironic to consider that our tasks can become our taskmasters if we are not careful. We don’t master them, they master us!
Everyone can benefit from unplugging for personal restoration.
One of the LeaderImpact groups I attend is currently studying “The Rest of God”, a book written by Mark Buchanan. As a result of reading this book, one member of our group and his wife made a decision. Once each month, they will completely “unplug” from devices and other people. Everyone liked this idea and Mary and I plan to do our first “unplugged day” in the not distant future. As I reflect on it, I think Mary has been after me for some time to do just this!
By the way, I am writing this blog post at a Tim Hortons in Port Dover, Ontario, where I just arrived on my motorcycle. For me, riding the bike is another great way to unplug if for no other reason that one cannot afford to be distracted by tasks and cares!
Everyone can benefit from unplugging for personal restoration. For those of us who are followers of Jesus, however, perhaps the primary reason for unplugging from the incessant demands of our task list is to experience God’s presence. On the desk in my office is a plaque with one of my favourite verses from the Bible: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
As someone once said at a retreat I attended, “I know you can run but can you wait (on God)?” How about you? Have you taken the time today to be still?
Garth Jestley is a husband, father, grandfather, leader and business executive. Most importantly, he is a follower of Jesus Christ.