24/07/2023 by Rev. Doug Walker 0 Comments
Taking A Break
As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice
“Taking a Break”
Just reading the title of this article, I’m reminded of some lines in one of my favorite movies: “Takin’ a break here boss? Not right now, boy.” “Drink o’ water here boss? Drink of water, boy.” Most of you will recognize those lines from Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman. The men working on chain gang outside the walls of a Louisiana prison had to ask for a break from the sweltering, humid summer sun. And to think, they even had to ask for a simple drink of water! But oh, the relief from the sun and work they could enjoy by just taking a break.
Breaks are important, and in some industries, they might be federally mandated. Of course, you also have the unionized shops and the requirement of so many breaks in a work shift lasting no longer than the contracted time limit. While it may seem petty using breaks as a negotiating tool in union agreements, federal law (Department of Labor) does not require lunch or coffee breaks. However, when employers do offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks as compensable work hours that would be included in the sum of hours worked during the workweek and considered in determining if overtime was worked. Seems harsh, as we all like our breaks.
Do you take breaks? I mean, do you take breaks from the stressful times in your life? What about breaks after serving others? You’ve poured yourself out in service to another and you just don’t have anything left. Do you need a break? Oh, mercy, yes you do (and please read that last sentence again with a great deal of emphasis).
Why am I so emphatic about breaks? We need look no further than the example set by Jesus. Several times in His ministry, Jesus found it necessary to take a break. He had poured Himself out and needed to be “refilled.” Take for example the feeding of the 5,000. Jesus had just learned of the death of His cousin, John the Baptist. This was the man filled with the Holy Spirit even while in his mother’s womb. He set the stage for the coming Messiah. Jesus and John had a bond that transcended friendship. The news came to Jesus just as He and the apostles were setting out in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. He saw a great multitude of people following on the bank. Even in His grief, He knew what He needed to do – to set aside His own feelings to meet the needs of the great crowd.
After feeding all the men, women and children, Jesus sent the apostles on ahead in the boat while he retired to a hillside to pray. He needed time to be healed and refilled. The true spiritual healing and filling could only come from His Heavenly Father.
Need revitalizing? Need healing? Need refilling? (Or the best question) Need a rest? Take time with your Heavenly Father. His arms are big, His lap is big, and there is no better place to be healed and refilled than in His embrace. I assure you, He will renew your spirit like no one here on earth can!