Taking a sabbatical is not a new concept. The word Sabbath taken from the Old Testament of the Bible simply means rest. It seems that God understood the concept of cessation and not just for man, but He also included the fields and the animals. (See Leviticus 25:3-4 and Exodus 23:12) Rest is something we are all familiar with, but an extended period of rest (beyond the typical one week to ten-day vacation) to most is thought to be somewhat unreasonable. Cindy Kirschner Goodman in her McClatchy Tribune article on sabbaticals said that, “Among the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work, 22 companies boast of offering fully paid sabbaticals.” She went on to write, “Companies find if they don’t do something, their workers will burn out and leave, or worse burn out and stay.”
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength… It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.” In my lifetime I have had the privilege of experiencing three sabbatical periods. Each one was unique within itself, but without fail God spoke to me significantly. There is something about detaching and refocusing that allows one to be sharper in the spirit and allows for growth. Perhaps the secret is that a sabbatical is not an extended vacation or a time to pursue a degree, but it is a time set aside for prayer, reflection, listening, and counsel for a healthier future. On that note, I just finished a book titled, The Value of a Sabbatical, Refocusing Your Life for a Healthy Future and I am totally excited about helping others through God’s concept of a Sabbath rest.