One of the characteristics of our host culture here in the United States is that we live in an atmosphere where our worth is often determined by our ability to produce and achieve. This has a tendency to shape us into slaves of production.
I have especially experienced this an apostolic leader who is always creating and starting things.
In the first church I planted, it was rare for me to take a day off. I was like the rat running in the wheel with no rest. The problem is that when we enter the rat race, we often become rats in the process. I had little patience, which, according to I Cor. 13, means I had little love. I thought patience was for under-achievers. Being an Ennegram three, the Achiever, one of my basic desires is to feel valuable and worthwhile, while my basic fear if of being worthless. The corresponding weakness is that I can try and find my value and worth through achievement, which make Sabbath for me (and other apostolically gifted leaders) a needed concrete practice that can act as a counterforce to our dominate culture, which is trying to squeeze us into its mold.
In Working the Angles, Eugene Peterson gives a beautiful description of Biblical Sabbath. He says that Sabbath is, “Uncluttered time and space to distance ourselves from the frenzy of our own activities so we can see what God has been and is doing. If we do not regularly quit work for one day a week, we take ourselves far too seriously. The moral sweat pouring off our brows blinds us to the primal action of God in and around us.” I’m happy to say that since being in L.A. I have religiously taken a day off.
The key task for an apostolic leader is to help people connect with their calling so that mission can be carried out. If we are not slowing down and taking days off with God to remember that He is in control and the one in charge, we become as Peterson suggests, blinded by our “moral sweat” and we cannot properly see how God is at work and help others step into that.
Part of what it means to become more like Jesus is walking in the Spirit and living a life more and more characterized the by fruit of the Spirit, including patience. It is interesting that the Chinese join two characters to form a single pictograph for busyness: heart and killing. Could it be that they understand that busyness kills the heart and makes us stop caring about the things we care about?