Divert Daily. Withdraw Weekly. Abandon Annually.

| June 6th, 2024

Dear Beloved Community,

Over the years, my dad offered encouragement to pastors early in their call about the rhythms of life, and I found it myself to be so helpful. He passed along a little mnemonic learned years ago from another pastor that has helped him avoid burnout over the years:

Divert daily.

Withdraw weekly.

Abandon annually.

Perhaps you hear in this encouragement a word about rhythms of work and rest, of time and space, of sabbath practices that sustain and give life. With Sunday’s sabbath sermon in my mind, with my kids’ first few days of summer fresh and alive with possibility, and with graduations and seasonal transitions all around us, these words are, yet again, precisely the ones I need to hear. Perhaps you do too!

Here’s what I’d add to these encouragements and offer to you, dear church, as the summer stands ready for your curiosity and imagination and rest. 

Divert daily: Find a daily practice that reconnects you with yourself, your identity, and God. Anything that is work-related or technologically-powered is off limits! Perhaps this is tending your garden, reading a new book, going for a walk, preparing a meal, taking a nap, creating something with your hands, watching the birds, you name it! 

Withdraw weekly: Hold fast to the biblical practice of sabbath (one portion of the week) that centers a different rhythm of your day, one that unhooks you from the wheels of productivity that insist upon maximizing each moment. One of my favorite quotes about sabbath from Stephen Smith says this: “When practiced, Sabbath-keeping is an active protest against a culture that is always on, always available, and always looking for something else to do.” Yes!

Abandon annually: Find time each year to truly step away from the dailiness of your work, such that the knots in your shoulders loosen, the automatic reminders of tasks for each day are forgotten, and the mind, body, heart, and soul find renewal in something new. 

May sabbath soften you in the grace of Jesus, who said, “come to me, you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Together in God’s work of Love,

Pastor Emily