What are you about?

It's a simple question really, although one that might be difficult to answer:  What are you about?  What defines you?  What is unique about you?  What makes you who you are?

Jamie asked this question of herself on her blog, which got me thinking about what I'm about.

I'm about Jesus, and I'm about helping others follow him.

I'm about my wife.

I'm about the Church and more specifically my church.

I'm about community.

I'm about cities. I live in DC, and my last three trips have been to Seattle, New York City, and Addis Ababa.

I'm about food. I especially love Chicago pizza, hot dogs and beef sandwiches, and if you grill meat I'll like it.

I'm about leadership, learning to lead myself and others well.

I'm about too much TV.

I'm about receiving grace and trying to get better at giving it.

I'm about reading and writing.

I'm about social media.

I'm about driving.

I'm about generosity.

I'm about being stressed and agitated but trying to change that.

I'm about my friends.

I'm about Sabbath.

I'm about poker.

I'm about competition and winning.

I'm about thinking and challenging and stretching my mind (and yours).

I'm about serving the vulnerable, because that's what Jesus is about.

I'm about integrity.

I'm trying to be about joy and intentionality.

I'm about theology.

I'm becoming about artistic expression and travel.

I used to be about politics.

I'm about exercise (sometimes).

What are you about?  Leave a comment below or better yet, write your own post and link back to mine.  I'll be sure to swing by your blog and check it out.

Photo by Flickr User gfpeck

You Need a Day Off

Leadership Lesson #17: You must observe Sabbath, not because God told you to but because He created you to need it and created it for you.

If I’ve learned anything over the last two years, it’s the necessity of observing Sabbath.  And I don’t think Sabbath is just for Christians. Whether you’re a holy roller or an atheist, Sabbath can change your life.

It has been a crazy few weeks. I slept in four states within five nights.  Right now I’m in Ethiopia. When I have been in DC, work has been especially challenging.  My pastoral skills have been repeatedly stretched and tested.

I believe that the single biggest factor in my remaining (relatively) calm and well functioning is observing Sabbath.  Each week I set aside one day where life is not about my to do list.  I look forward to this day.  I cherish this day.  When I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I think about the day I know is coming when I can relax, recharge, and rejuvenate.

I’m not talking about “living for the weekend.”  I want to engage fully where I am. I want to savor each moment, to experience life to it’s fullest every day.  Sabbath allows me to do that. I can pour myself into each situation because I know there is a day coming when I can cease working and be restored.

Sabbath is not about a list of do’s and don’ts.  It’s about ceasing what you must do in order to do what is most beneficial, which may be nothing at all.


…or more specifically, ceasing to work. I’m reading Why Guys Need God by Mike Erre right now, and he’s talking about how work is not the result of the Fall, that work is not punishment but that we were always intended to work. His position is that God worked in creation and that our working is a part of our being created in the image of God, which got me thinking…

What does it mean to rest? This may seem like an odd question when reading about work being a part of our very nature, but I don’t have a problem working. I work at work, and when I come home, I work some more. I enjoy work. I enjoy what I do, and I enjoy the projects that I do on the side. My hope is that those side projects will eventually become profitable, and I enjoy the work that it takes to make them so. I especially enjoy the creative aspects of these projects, but when God rested, he rested from creating.

I guess what I’m really asking is, what does it mean to shabbat, to rest, to take a Sabbath. Observing the Sabbath (or at least a Sabbath) was a command that was never rescinded in the New Testament. It’s a commandment that I’m not very good at following. But even if I was good at it, what does it even mean to take a Sabbath? Is it to rest not only from day-to-day work but to rest even from being creative? Woodworking, painting, and building hot rods are all thoroughly enjoyable activities for many, but they are also a form of work? Should we rest even from these on our Sabbath?

I have no good answers on this, only questions.

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