RESEARCH DATA ON HEART ATTACKS

Recently, researchers from University College London compiled data on the relationship between working hours and heart attack risk in over 600,000 workers, as well as similar data on stroke risk in over 500,000 workers. They found that those who worked more than 55 hours per week had a 13% greater risk of a heart attack, and were 33% more likely to suffer a stroke, compared with those who worked 35-40 hours per week.

MY RECENT WAKE-UP CALL

Honestly, when I read those stats it was a wake-up call to me. So much so that I unplugged from technology for the entire week of Thanksgiving. Why?

I’ve been pushing a pace well beyond 55 hours a week on an endless pursuit to search for validation from others and my heavenly Father. It was day four of our getaway, as I was listening to worship music, I stumbled upon a random tire pictured below.

IMG_1284

I immediately heard the words,

“Ricky, my son, you’ve been concentrating so much on your fuel, move, and lift tires that your rest tire is completely flat. In fact… it has a gaping hole in it. Today, I want that to change in your life.”

I sat down on a log beside the water and journaled the two pages below.  My handwriting suffered on this day.  I blame it on the wind.

Rest 1

Rest 2

The Lord has continued to confirm those words in my early morning devotional time. On December 10 I read these words,

“Finally, the earth is at REST and QUIET.” Isaiah 14:7 NLT
“In that wonderful day when the Lord gives his people REST from sorrow and fear, from slavery and chains.” Isaiah 14:5 NLT
“Worry weighs a person down.” Proverbs 12:25 NLT

I was reminded that God told his son, Jesus, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” He spoke those words before Jesus did one act of ministry. Let that sink in.

WHAT AM I DOING ABOUT IT?

I love the mantra Rick Warren uses to find his own rest. What is it?

Divert daily, withdraw weekly, and abandon annually.

For me practically:

  • I plan on being very intentional during my 52 Sabbath’s this year by escaping away for an extended time with the Lord and getting in nature.
  • I plan on scheduling a monthly retreat day and four quarterly solitude retreats
  • I have already scheduled in my 2016 calendar multiple family vacations and family camping trips

Can I ask you something? Do you feel like you are pleasing the Lord? Do you know what would please him more than anything right now?

Be secure in knowing that you can take your foot off the pedal and rest. It’s OK. Remember, unless he builds the house the labors labor in vain anyway.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FIND REST?

  • if you’re a parent maybe you can tag team with your spouse and escape away for a few hours
  • if you’re an entrepreneur pencil in an entire morning to unplug, go on a nature hike, or take a nap
  • if you’re a pastor take out your calendar and schedule your 2016 vacations
  • if you’re a missionary schedule a block of time to do absolutely nothing and just breathe knowing the Lord is in control of your finances.

Do me a favor huh? Comment on this article to commit to action what you will do to find rest before the end of this week or email me back I’d love to hear about what you do!

I leave you with these lyrics from a song called “My Grace” from the album Future Bright & Free.

“I’ve seen your weakness and I am powerful. I’ve seen your failures and I am merciful. I’ve seen your heaviness and I will give you REST. I’ve seen your loneliness and I am with you. My grace my grace is yours.”E My Grace, Album Future Bright & Free

*Thank you to John Ross M.D. for writing this article that originally woke me up from my slumber and where I got the research.

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