I use a forward planner that was designed by one of my “production heroes”. Maybe there is somebody out there you respect who is constantly achieving, accomplishing, and producing content.
At the risk of sounding like a brag, I don’t struggle with this aspect of things.
What I have struggled with over the years is resting.
Years ago, as I planted a front-line church that was growing by new convert growth, I worked bi-vocationally for a man I greatly respected. He was very supportive of my planting, and hired me partly to support me in the endeavor. During one of our forward planning meetings, he asked me a searching question, “How do you recharge?”
I paused. I had never thought about that before.
He interpreted my pause correctly, and continued, “If I could give you some advice. You need a time to shut down and recharge, or you won’t be able to keep going like you are. It’s as important to schedule times to get away and completely shut down, and switch off as it is to schedule your productivity.”
I didn’t know at the time how important this would become to my future pacing.
I began to incorporate patterns of rest and relaxation into my regular rhythms.
About that plan for success…
Back to the forward planner.
One of the things that first bothered me about it was that there was a weekend section at the end of every week that took as much time as the week did.
It seemed like wasted space to me in an otherwise well-designed forward planner.
But I’ve come to learn that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
The problem is, you can fail at work, you can fail at productivity, and still fall back on your own resources. But what happens when you yourself fail?
Thom Yorke, the lead singer of progressive rock band Radiohead learned this the hard way when he toured 250+ concerts the year after O.K. Computer released. Music had always provided solace for Thom, a chance to work out his innermost feelings, and recharge, but night after night, the thing he turned to for recreation became the biggest chore in his life. By the time he came off tour, he was tattered and frayed from the inside out. He never wanted to touch a guitar again, and as a result, couldn’t find his center anymore.
He began to experience a nervous breakdown.
Renting a house of the cliffs of Devon with entire walls made of glass overlooking the cliffs breaking the crashing waves of the sea, Thom had only one item placed in the house. A grand piano.
There he poured out his soul playing piano as he tried to recover from a grueling year that had devoured his mind and soul. That keyboard became his healing…his rest.
Kid-A, and album devoid of guitar, not only resulted from this, but changed music forever.
This is why God hardwired us for rest.
There are different types of rest.
Some just think that rest means sleep or ceasing from work.
But the biblical concept of rest is more wholistic than that.
It involves the rest that you need mentally as well as physically.
This is why the old adage, “a change is as good as a rest” holds true.
God, who rested on the seventh day, designed a day wherein we change our paste, shut down, and shut out the pressures pulling on us the rest of the week.
So as you set your goals, I ask you to picture that forward planner again.
In it, there are Places to go, Recreations to pursue, books to read.
All of these help you to prioritize your rest, for in rest, is your strength.
God said, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”
Don’t let the next part of that verse be true about you, “but you would have none of it.”
Seize rest and recreation as a god-given mercy and necessity for your soul.
Don’t neglect this important part of goal-setting this year.
What if one of your goals this next year was to be more rested? More centered? More balanced?
How would you family life, ministry, and general mental health fare?