For the past few years I have trained for the Indianapolis Mini Marathon (13.1 miles). The training starts in January and goes up to race day; early May. Each week I am on a schedule of running and cross training. An interesting thing is also included in the regiment: rest. My wife comes home and I’m laying on the couch, catching up on some TV time and resting. The most strenuous activity at the time is pushing the remote buttons.
"What are you doing?" She asks.
"Pretty obvious, isn’t it? I’m training for a half-marathon."
As a worship leader (or a breathing human being), you need rest. It must be part of your routine. I have a tendency to run hard and not rest like I should. Here is what I find happens when I don’t take time to rest:
- Criticism is more painful. When the criticism comes, it stings harder when we are tired. We don’t have the mental energy to push through the conflict so our first response is to fold.
- Focus is off. When we are tired, it is difficult to maintain focus. Our game suffers.
- Irritability. Enough said.
- Prone to sickness. Run without enough sleep and your body’s immune system weakens. Think you don’t have time to rest? You will think different when you are sick next week.
- Creativity is lowered. When the brain moves slower, there is not the synaptic firing that we need to keep pushing the creative boundaries.
- Spiritual defenses are down. We are more prone to temptation when we are tired. We don’t have the energy to follow through. This can be incredibly dangerous.
- Life is not enjoyed. Ever heard anyone say that they are exhausted but totally loving life? Doubtful.
Rest for you may mean more sleep. It may mean more playing. It may mean having some time that is just your own. Figure out what it is and schedule it. Guard it and do it.
One final suggestion: Sleep in the night before. Some studies suggest that we get better quality sleep before midnight. Some also suggest that every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two hours after midnight. When your pals ask what you are doing going to bed at 9:30 PM, just tell them you are sleeping in.
May your rest be renewing in such a way that you lead from a point of renewed energy and focus.
For more great photos like the one above, check out Wigglets’ photos.