decided to stop

I Have Decided To Stop

Nathan Smith Life Skills, Personal Stories

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Often times in life it takes more faith to stop than it does to keep going.  There can be a lot of risk in stopping. “What if I miss an opportunity? What if a competitor claims the space? What if people stop inviting me?  What if I can’t get back to form fast enough?” Thoughts like these can consume people’s minds when the idea of stopping is presented. However you only have so much capacity. In order to put one more thing on the plate, something has to come off. Culture can question that idea by encouraging us to constantly develop creative ways to simply pile more on top! But culture won’t be there to apologize when you have a nervous breakdown or help you understand why your relationships are suffering after years of pushing harder and adding more. At some point, you must stop and stopping can be scary. After 20 years of ministry and 20 months of writing this blog every Monday, I have decided to stop… (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Going Backwards is Moving You Forward’)

No, I’m not stopping forever.  I’m stopping for the month of July (starting today).  I have been given the opportunity by my Lead Pastor and Church to take a sabbatical. I am incredibly humbled and grateful for that and I don’t want to miss the opportunity to stop. So, starting right now I’m stepping away from my daily responsibilities, regular schedule and all social media (forgive me if I don’t reply or respond to you this month). Will I miss out on some things? Absolutely. Will parts of it be hard? Without question. Will it be worth it? I already know before I even get into it that it’s going to be life-giving and beneficial to me, my wife, my kids, my friends, my church and my readers. So what am I going to be doing?  I’m going to be focused on living life, not doing stuff. Sometimes we get so focused on doing stuff… even really good, important stuff, that we start forgetting that life is happening. We look up and our kids are bigger, our hair is grayer and we’re not exactly sure how it all happened. Sometimes there’s no way to really appreciate all of that without stopping and really considering it. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Do You Trust God Enough To Rest’)

I’m extremely aware than not everyone will get the opportunity to take a month off.  That’s one of the reasons I’m so incredibly humbled and grateful for this opportunity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make the hard decision to stop and reflect. Maybe you need to pull back on some ongoing commitments to evaluate the priority on your time. Maybe you need to embrace the concept of sabbath in your weekly flow of life (most people have forsaken this) so that you are pausing more deliberately in order to evaluate.   Regardless of your situation you need to build margin into your life so that you aren’t burning the candle at both ends. Choose a day to block out the calendar to take a walk, talk to the Lord, write some things down and evaluate life. Your life, your family, your friends and your business are worth it.  (Click Here To Read My Post ‘Are You Willing To Receive’)

Make no mistake about it, stopping is hard work. It can be very emotional. It can be a cause for people to question your commitment or your character. You could be misunderstood. But it may be the difference between doing life and living life. This life is a gift. It’s hard and complicated at times but it is beautiful and rich when you’re not running non-stop. I’m stopping so that I can hopefully keep going for a lot longer.  I hope you will consider doing the same. I appreciate your prayers as I take some down time with my family and invest in my time with them and in my relationship with God. I’m praying for you that you will find ways to do the same. (Click Here To Read My Post ‘3 Keys To Being a Better Family Man’)

From The Bible

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God.” – Exodus 20:8-10 NIV 

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31 NIV

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. – Mark 2:27 NIV

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