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Thoughts on Leadership

Surprising Solution for Burnout

There is a symphonic voice coming from many seasoned leaders saying, “We are busy, bored, and burned out”. It is like the leader who was so overwhelmed with life, he put suicide on his to-do list but was too busy to do it. The surprising solution for burnout is easily missed and often overlooked.  If rediscovered, leaders can regain focus, delight, and energy.

Surprising Solution for Burnout: Sabbath
Surprising Solution for Burnout: Sabbath

A friend recommended this book to me and my first thought was, “Sabbath, blah blah blah, I know about the Sabbath and I don’t like being told what I CAN’T do.”

You know that feeling when you are so surprisingly delighted? Reading this book captured me that way!

As a two-time survivor of burnout, I am passionate about helping leaders be protected from burnout so they can be productive in their calling.

I would like to entice you to consider not just reading this book but experiencing it.

My approach was to read-reflect-rejoice on one chapter a week on Sundays.  God’s surprising solution for burnout started to emerge. This new (old) view of the Sabbath for me now is the tool belt which all other burnout and productivity tools hang.

Summarizing the point of the book is captured in this refreshing question:

What would I do for a twenty-four-hour period of time if the only criteria was to pursue my deepest joy?

Be refreshed by some of Allender’s pity quotations:

The Sabbath is a feast day that remembers our leisure in Eden and anticipates our play in the new heavens and earth with family, friends, and strangers for the sake of the glory of God.

Sabbath is not a break from work; it is a redefinition of how we work, why we work, and how we create freedom through our work.

The Sabbath is simply not a day to “perform” religious activities and then to claim the rest of the day for thoughtless routine or mere entertainment or diversions.

It is the queen of all days, the day in which division, destitution, and death are put aside to celebrate our union with God, the abundance of his love, and the wild hope of the coming kingdom.

There is no notion more at odds with the Sabbath than a day of forced quiet, spiritual exercises, and religious devotion and attendance. It implies that the day is meant to be spent indoors, napping or praying but not partying.

We are invited to write the script for our character each week, to act on the stage of Sabbath a new play of redemption. We are to pretend, to play as if the new heavens and earth have dawned and all despair and death have been swallowed into the glory of the resurrection.

The Sabbath is intended to save us from forgetting our past or ignoring our futures.  The Sabbath is also a promise regarding our future glory in the new heavens and earth, a righteously just and compassionate society. Yet the future is trivialized if the Sabbath is just a day off. It is to be viewed as a day that offers a taste of the radical day of redemptive justice.

Tolle Lege” my friends. “Take up and Read.”

What would you do for a twenty-four-hour period of time if the only criteria was to pursue your deepest joy?