Time Off

December 2, 2010
This is a guest post by Michael Perkins. He writes the blog Untitled – a blog written by an ordinary guy who serves an extraordinary God.  I have been reading Michael’s blog for many months now and I have appreciated his openness and writing style.

I took last week off from writing. For the last year, I have been blogging and writing poetry. On average, I publish 5-6 posts per week on my blog and I post 1-2 poems per week on my poetry and photo blog.

I have to be honest, it was really difficult. I am constantly trying my to come up with unique and creative ways to present a message of hope. And all the time and thought that goes into it can wear a person out.

Mark 1:35 says, “And early in the morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.

As a Christian blogger/writer I consider what I write part of my ministry. This makes taking a break scary, especially one where we have no activity whatsoever. I can honestly say that this thought crossed my mind, “There are people who visit here every day, they are not going to get ministered to.”

Let me be clear: That was probably the most selfishly-stupid thoughts I’ve ever had.

Though I wasn’t writing, I was still reading a lot of stuff.

Every day someone else posted a blog that inspired me.

Every day someone else posted a blog that encouraged me.

Every day someone else posted a blog that stretched the way I thought.

In other words, the world didn’t come to a screeching halt because I wasn’t writing. In fact, it went on quite nicely.

And that’s what I love about the verse above. Jesus understood that in order to pour himself out to others, He had to fill Himself up first. He understood that He needed time alone with His father.

Do you have a problem taking time off?

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Kevin Martineau

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I am the Pastor at Port Hardy Baptist Church on Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I am married to my best friend and I have three beautiful daughters.

36 responses to Time Off

  1. This blogging and poetry stuff is work. We enjoy it; it's a different way of exploring what our faith means and what it should be. And those are good things. But they're still work. So tkaing a rest now and then is a good thing. Good post, Michael.

  2. Yes Mike I do…being a creative person I'm not sure my mind ever takes time off but
    I need to. The creative process needs recharging and the best way to do that is allowing
    the creative God we serve do that recharging…Bless ya bro' I appreciate your talent and giftings
    and for Kevin giving you blog space today!

  3. I have gotten better over time in dealing with time off. There was a period where I though I had to always be there and doing the work (whether blogging or ministry or even the jobs I held) but I have seen how dumb this is and now I take time off. From work I take two days off per week and from blogging I only do Monday – Friday so that I can rest and recharge my batteries.

    Thanks!
    My recent post The Very Best

  4. So good man! While you were missed, I was glad you were taking a break. I believe with all my heart that rest is holy.
    My recent post What Do You See

  5. While I do not consider my self a 'write' I do consider my blog my ministry. I took two days off at Thanksgiving. It was a needed break. We all need a break sometimes.
    My recent post To Yell or Not to Yell

  6. I have gotten better over time in dealing with time off. There was a period where I though I had to always be there and doing the work (whether blogging or ministry or even the jobs I held) but I have seen how dumb this is and now I take time off. From work I take two days off per week and from blogging I only do Monday – Friday so that I can rest and recharge my batteries.

  7. I think everyone needs to take time off from time to time. I have seen people in ministry burn out so fast when they don't take time to fill back up again. Good post!!

  8. We definitely need to take time off and rest and rejuvinate – otherwise we run the risk of burning out. That happened to me, and I'm still trying to "recover" from it (with regard to ministry). If we all learn to take a little time off, it'll help in the long run. At least that's what I think.
    My recent post Just Accept It – Thats All You Need To Do

  9. Yeah, it's definitely a lot of work, but I do love the conversation and being able to process where I'm going with the Lord. That said, breaks are important. We need the recharging time. Since it truly is ministry, if we don't recharge we will definitely burn out. Good stuff, Michael. Thanks.
    My recent post Hope and Peace at Christmastime

  10. Yes, yes we do need breaks. I can't imagine keeping up the pace you did without a break sooner. Maybe plan shorter ones – like 2-3 days – more frequently. I know started the practice of going of a multi day retreat has been one of the best things for me in all areas: physically, emotionally and spiritually. I try for a full retreat at least once a year – don't always make that goal – but do plan days of Sabbath inbettween. Work takes over and we need boundaries in order to stay balanced. Good thought today!
    My recent post O Come O Come Emmanuel – Hymn Story

  11. And in the resting, we're renewed and rewired. Great post, Michael.
    My recent post If I’m Still Enough

  12. I'm glad you enjoyed your time off, Michael. I recently helped write a sabbatical policy for my church to allow our rostered staff paid rest-time and the opportunity to recharge. God rested, and I firmly believe we should follow his example in all things.

  13. Amen! Other than the fact that I don't post significantly often [trying to do so more often], I also see it as a form of ministry — wouldn't have begun if the Lord hadn't nudged and bugged me for some time. [I was afraid it would turn into an ego trip for me and didn't want to risk that. Sometimes it has, but not too often, which is a good thing.] And, if I don't have time to keep "filled" , partly b/c of everyday activities that empty me out, I sure better keep my morning reading/worshiping schedule or I'd be dead meat.

    Thanks for your straightforward honesty. We always need to see that. It's a great reminder.

  14. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for having me kevin today.
    My recent post Time Off

  15. The process of being filled is necessary in order to allow God's love and grace to overflow out of our lives. Jesus modeled repeatedly with varying degrees of success the notion of taking a break…

    I'm good at taking a break… where I run into trouble is what comes after the break, i.e. getting back into the fray. Those cool still waters and mountain escapes beckon me… but so does God's purpose for me.

    So, restored, I return to the front-lines and allow God to continue working in me and through me.

    I didn't write a post today, so I think my comments are suffering the burdens of my heart today. Michael…you were missed while you broke, prayed for in your rest, and are gladly welcomed back. Love you brother!
    My recent post Live- Love- and Walk Humbly with God

  16. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I understand that completely. I think your comment was perfect Dusty. Love you man.
    My recent post Time Off

  17. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you Tony for your ongoing encouragement.
    My recent post Time Off

  18. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Thank you Jim. I really appreciate your honesty.
    My recent post Time Off

  19. Michael D. Perkins is D man. It's humbling to take a length of time off because you begin to see that a lot of the construct around you isn't what you think it is. When I took weeks off, I can count on one hand the number of people who contacted me to see if I was OK or what was going on. At that point, I had hundreds of followers on twitter….and less than 5 contacted me. It was a very humbling moment (and honestly, didn't help the spiral down but did help the eventual breakthrough.)

    I always feared time off because I thought what would happen actually did happen…no one would care. But then I really saw those few folks who contacted me and realized that to them, I mattered. And if I mattered to only one person with my writing, then I made a difference for Christ.
    My recent post Gifts God gives…

  20. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    That's so true man. I have/had the exact same fears. You definitely matter to me.
    My recent post Time Off

  21. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    I agree, thank you April.

  22. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Thank you Glynn. It really is work. Especially when we try to be creative and not so cookie cutter.
    My recent post Time Off

  23. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Okay, out of every comment or even my post, your statement about your mind always going hits close
    My recent post Time Off

  24. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    We all do. Jennifer I want to let you know that I didn't consider myself a writer either. But the more I think about the more I realize I kinda am. You should check out Katdish.net She really helped me come to this realization.
    My recent post Time Off

  25. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I think you are right. There is a reason that He rested on the 7th day.
    My recent post Time Off

  26. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    I love the conversations and the friendships I've made too. But we still need breaks man. Thanks for your friendship Jason.
    My recent post Time Off

  27. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Jean, nice meeting you over here. I agree about the 2-3 days more frequently. Actually I agree with everything you said.
    My recent post Time Off

  28. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    Yes and amen

  29. you defintely have a gift Michael :) I can totally understand… like sometimes we push and push and push and we push so hard we push past God's command to take time to rest and refresh…

    You show a lot of wisdom taking a break :) though we did miss you! You have a unique and valuable voice and we appreciate you greatly!

  30. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Jenny, that is too kind. That really means a lot to me.

  31. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    That's really cool. I think that having that policy will definitely put the paid staff at ease knowing that the church is cool with that.
    My recent post Time Off

  32. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Joanne, thank you for the kind words. You are exactly right. We need to be sure that we are filled. Here's to not being dead meat. :)
    My recent post Time Off

  33. My problem isn't taking time off so much as getting back to work after. As such, I rarely take breaks with writing.
    My recent post 175- Punished

  34. MichaelDPerkins December 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Yeah, I think it's hard for creative people just to turn the switch off.
    My recent post Time Off

  35. When it comes to devo type posts I have a difficult time coming up with things. That is probably why I have a couple different blogs. One for ministry/devo (Strive) and another for whatever my heart desires (Mosaic Mercy).

    Taking a break is good but there are a lot of us that are glad you aren't quitting.

    Have a great weekend Michael. :)
    My recent post What I Learned In Blogland This Week

  36. MichaelDPerkins December 4, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Dude, I really appreciate that man.