Last night, Debra and I shared a wonderful time of fellowship and a good meal with the pastors in the Crossville, Tennessee area of our state.

As I was leaving the meeting, one of our pastors whom I have deep respect for asked me a question and made a comment that made me think. He said, “you are always telling us to take some time off to rest, but you never tell us how to do it.” When I realized that during the dinner meeting I fielded two cellphone calls, and did some “on-the-spot” counseling, I could clearly see that I wasn’t leading by example.

It dawned on me that he was right. We all recognize the need for rest, and we readily point to the Lord’s command to remember the sabbath and keep it holy. The old joke is, “even the Lord rested on the seventh day, and it wasn’t because He was tired.” He was letting us know that man has to have rest…the opportunity for body and mind to catch up and rejuvenate. Like anything else, it must be done in moderation. To rest too much would make you lazy, and to not rest enough would simply make you burn out.

In the remaining part of today’s post, I want to share some ideas with you, and hopeful my minister friends will be encouraged, as will the congregants.

Twenty-years-ago, Debra and I started taking Friday off. I found that as a pastor, most problems arose on Monday (right after two church meetings on Sunday) and continued through the week, and then on Saturday, my mind was completely on my sermons for the next day. On those Fridays, we would take in a movie and then have dinner together. Friday soon became a day we looked forward to, and we always relaxed for at least the two hours of the movie…remember, they have you turn your cell phone ringer off, which is a blessing.

Today, I decided to return to that “date-day” after realizing we haven’t done it for five weeks. After taking care of some mandatory calls in the morning, we sat through an entertaining movie and then instead of going to lunch, we took a walk along the lake in Hendersonville (where we live) at a relaxing pace.

I had forgotten how much this relaxed us, and helped us gather thoughts. Did you know there are ducks and geese at the lake? I guess I forgot how graceful they are as they swim, and fly. This was a way for me to relax, and I could actually tell the difference in my state of mind.

Now, maybe you don’t go to movies, but there is something else you like to do. Why do I like them? I believe it’s because I don’t have to think for two hours. After all the word “amuse” is a conjunction of the words “a” and “muse” or “no” “think.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Whatever it is that you do, you need time to rest. There are exceptions when a REAL emergency exists, but for the most part, the world can do without any of us for an afternoon each week.

I would love to hear from you about how you spend your time off. If you will email them to me, I can post the appropriate ones for our ministers who need a little time off. Send them to: ecmckinley@gmail.com

— Post From My iPad