Alfred: Know your limits Master Wayne.
Bruce: Batman has no limits.
Alfred: Well, YOU do sir.
Bruce: Well, I can’t afford to know ‘em.
Alfred: What’s going to happen on the day that you find out?
Bruce: We all know how much you like to say I told you so.
Alfred: On that day Master Wayne, even I won’t want to. Probably.
– The Dark Knight (2008)
Like Bruce Wayne, we can fall into a similar trap. I’m talking to the pastor who feels the need to keep it all together. I’m talking to the youth leader who goes hundreds of extra miles to attend to anyone who calls for help. I’m talking to the faithful burnt out Christian who is thinking of dropping out of all ministry and possibly even church.
Know your limits. Even Batman has limits. Though he hardly wants to admit it. That’s why God gave us a Sabbath day of rest. Take it. Rest in it. Realise that the world won’t implode without you. Maybe it’ll implode with you meddling about when you should be resting. Ever work too long yet accomplish too little? Tiredness decreases your productivity.
God rested on the seventh day of Creation. Not because he was tired, but that his rest represented his kingly rule. A conquering king who subdued his enemies gained rest. God rested when he finished creation as the king who won over the primeval chaos. Thus, God’s Sabbath rest became a covenantal sign to Israel that he was their king. That’s why God got mad when people didn’t keep the Sabbath. When we work on the Sabbath, we’re saying God isn’t king, we are.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. …It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.’”
Exodus 31:12-13, 17
God graciously gave us the Sabbath to rest in God’s covenantal love for us. As we rest, we place our trust in God that he’s in control. As Christian, especially for ministers, we must seriously take our Sabbath rest.