Take a Rest, Pastor! You Need It More Than You Think

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The one thing we can’t shirk these days is time with God. It’s our lifeline to health and happiness and hope.

I’ve been thinking about the Confessions lately. Augustine’s Confessions in particular. I even quoted The City of God in my Sunday message—I felt quite scholarly talking about inordinately loved things.

Yet, for today, I want to focus on what is among his best known quotes. He wrote, “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

We’d be hard pressed to find someone today who isn’t in need of rest. Not necessarily the “binge-watch-Netflix-and-tune-out-the-world” rest, but instead the kind that is life-giving and offers us what we need to be the best version of ourselves in these difficult days.

(This is not to say there isn’t a place for Netflix, just that I don’t think that’s what Augustine would have been referring to!)

Admittedly, I feel restless and stuck. Sometimes, I feel antsy and agitated. I look at the uncertainty and fear around me and I want to make it well. Some days I want to run and hide. But mostly I want to fix it. I want those in my circle of influence to be healthy and well in these uncertain days.

In my role leading the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, I feel enormous responsibility for my staff and the institution. As a parent and husband and son and brother, I want to care well for those closest to me. As a pastor and leader, I want to encourage those leaders who are being crushed by burdens and responsibilities that are too much for one person to carry alone.

This is a time like no other, and we are facing challenges like no other.

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