Re-Fuel!

I read with joy and interest a longtime friend’s comments on his walk with the Lord today. God has graced him with a wonderful heart, wife, kids, local church and some fruitful ministry to quite a large group of people both locally and beyond.What he did mention was that at times he finds the work of ministry investment in family, church and other mission as well as plain old survival in such a difficult economy as we now face, truly exhausting. I’ve heard much the same from a lot of people and have experienced it myself over the years in different time periods.There is dragged-out tired and there is the end of the day tiredness of good and right service to God and others where you are drained but really Good Tired, not just burnt-out tired! I can recall many situations where I really needed sleep, but it was with a great feeling of God’s blessing on my life with a secure knowledge I had done what I needed to do, in loving obedience on the day. Such bedtimes are really sweet. Sleep comes with a smile rather than fretting over getting up the next morning.BUT- there is a rest for the people of God and we all need to learn such Sabbath rest… even on a Wednesday 🙂 It only took me about fifteen years (!) but at some point I realized the true importance and indeed, necessity of actual REST.No matter your heart, calling and sacrifice, a handful of people may mis-judge you for being lazy or “why isn’t he/she working?!”, but blow it off and enjoy God, peace and quiet, a garden, a good book, music, a movie or just a coffee or tea and the sun and wind in your face for twenty or thirty minutes every now and then.I try to make/take and enjoy such times each week, perhaps twice or three times per week really. Alone with God, sitting on a park bench or somewhere you can just take a breath, turning off the cell phone and laptop, just cooling out a bit is SERIOUSLY NEEDED for busy, working people.Stress is what it is- and often even very short breaks like these can help you “come up for air”, bring a fresh perspective on current events in your life or that of your family and others who you care and perhaps fret over.Years ago our entire Christian community moved several blocks into our current buildings. There was so much work to do, all of us were so maxed out in expending energy, and the new place needed extensive work. One night I ended up at dinner alone after a long day. Well, not totally alone but my wife and kids were packing a little bit up left at our old building, and so I sat alone at one of a few tables in our new dining room. Seeing one of our pastors across the room I pleaded “Tom- don’t leave after supper bro., I gotta talk and get some prayer!” He stuck around and we had a short chat and prayer together. I just said “Dude, I’m fried and don’t want to be on edge with Wendi and the kids tonight… you better pray for me please”.He laughed and said “We’re all fried. But I have some advice: take a few bucks, ask for someone to listen out for the kids and you and Wendi go out and see a movie together.” We did. He was right- we just needed to chill for a bit. And I still do from time to time. And so do you.If you’re reading me right- and you are… it’s not only about a scheduled quiet time with the Lord. That too, But any sort of break, rest, just slowing down, quiet time of reflection, watching the birds in the trees, fishing, whatever, we ALL need to learn to take short breaks throughout our week.It’s not always the extended vacation. Re-fueling with God, sometimes with a hobby, sometimes a cup of tea and quiet chair with our shoes off. A long, hot bath.By the way, I don’t know how many Christ-followers really “get” that rest is part of rather than excluded from our worship of the Lord… but it truly -is-. Rest is literally a command of God, and part of worship is loving obedience to Him, is it not?Trust me- you’ll find recovery time from your energy-burn a very important and helpful thing!Grace!-Glenn

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