Read: Genesis 2:3
Creation was not simply God’s way of getting things going, it was also God’s way to get things going properly. The rhythm of working and resting is part of the creation story.
Probably the most amazing part of this story is in the two words, “God rested.” If God is “all” everything (present, powerful, and knowing), why would God need to rest?
We’ll probably never find out the complete answer to that question, but at the very least it raises this question, “Do I think I do not need to do something that God needed to do?”
One of the glories of creation is that God put into it the opportunity for us to do on earth what, apparently, He does in heaven. Why would anyone want to miss out on that?
You are not alone. There is a tendency to create a “model” of ministry that is akin to other professionals. Doctors, lawyers, and school teachers (for example) work long hours and under great stress. We use their workstyles to create the notion that even in ministry “busy-ness” is a mark of commitment. Also, people can lay expectations of “working all the time” on us. So, when we decide to live differently—that is, with a sabbath rhythm—we feel guilty. This is guilt based upon a wrong model. Jesus is the model for ministry, and he demonstrated and commended a style that included both working and resting.
Do others who are pastors automatically feel guilty when they approach the topic of Sabbath rest? Is it just me? Perhaps it is because of the inherent combination of worship (“God made it holy”) and rest. Worship, after all, is my work these days; how do I separate out rest and still make the day holy? I am, by the way, writing on my rest day, so you see I have trouble with this! Do you?