This is always a weird time of year for me. I parked the last van for the summer season this past Friday and my body, mind, and soul don’t quite know how to adjust to the changes. I go from a nonstop summer schedule to a fall in which the teens are in school and I sleep in my own bed almost every night. Oh how I miss the bunks of Spring Mill…
It has been a great summer. I was blessed to watch God do some pretty amazing things. I witnessed eight teens give their lives to Christ and new leaders emerge in our group. I experienced the process of teens maturing and talents being exposed while our group served selflessly in Murphy, at Spring Mill, and locally in Indianapolis. I even got to go play at Cedar Point and have a lot of fun with the group at other activities this summer. It has been a great couple of months, but it is time for a recharge! If you see me in the next few weeks and I seem to be in a comatose state, don’t worry, I’ll bounce back. But, it is definitely time for some Sabbath.
When I give thought about how to find rest, the examples Jesus set comes to mind. Throughout his ministry, Jesus took opportunities to connect with his Father to recoup energy and sharpen his mind. If we are fulfilling our call into ministry, whether it is a fast-paced summer with teens, “simply” serving our neighbors, or representing Jesus to co-workers or peers in school; it requires us to take breaks and be refreshed if we want be focused and at our best. May I present just a few ways that I “fill my cup” when I am empty?
1- Dig into the Word. The Bible can be a rejuvenating book as it reminds us of the presence and nature of God. It also recommits us to the knowledge and wisdom we gain through the Bible.
2- Heart-felt talks with God. He loves to hear what is on our hearts and minds….good and bad. And, as we talk through things with Him, the Spirit can work in us for peace, clarity, and rejuvenation.
3- Escape! In our culture we are always connected with people and we seldom find time to be truly quiet. Halfway through a Bible study or prayer time, the phone will beep at us with a text (mine literally just chimed in with a new text as I typed the word “beep”), Facebook update, Tweet, or phone call. Be willing to shut off the phone and go somewhere for isolation.
4- Connect with those who recharge you. I have a couple of really good friends who I can talk to about anything and laugh a lot with. It always helps me to feel better when I can unload a few issues onto them.
I recognize that different people have different ways of reconnecting with God. The important thing is that we find time to take rest and refocus. If you have any good ideas that work well for you, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.