Wednesday, March 11, 2009

the rest of the story...

We are meeting with Mark Yaconelli for two days, along with all the national leaders of youth ministry in the Free Methodist Church. We are talking about the future God has in store for the Church, and for our church. How important we believe it is to connect the youth/young adults of today to a living experience of God, before they decide they're not into "church" anymore. (sometimes by slow release, sometimes by a dramatic break) At the root of all of this, we find the care/experience of our own souls. So we are spending time thinking/turning towards God together. There are a group of about thirty of us. It's refreshing. It's encouraging. It's vision-casting. It is rest.

We talked a lot yesterday about the importance of finding regular periods of rest in our lives. How, especially in ministry, it's important for ourselves/families, but especially as those who lead. We need to be people who model "rest". The world certainly won't do it. I could go on a rant about how the world loves busy-ness, or how the Bible loves rest....but you get the picture.

So the question becomes, now that we know we NEED rest and need to model rest to the world, what is does that mean? Maybe not so obviously, it doesn't mean that everyone just needs to take a nap in the middle of the day, although perhaps that's what you need. I'm definitely not the napping type. So what does it mean for me?

I think fatherhood can be something that compounds our busy-ness if we allow it. I also think it can be one of the greatest gifts God has given to someone in need of rest. My children cause me to slow down. To turn off the tv. To play. To imagine. To create. To sing/dance. These things give me rest.

We took our kids with us to Hawaii for our "Wheel of Fortune" vacation last year. Some thought we were crazy. We had moments where perhaps we thought we were also. But during/after the experience, we realized how much they added to our trip. Without them, we would have felt pressure to "go out", and "experience the island", etc. That would have costed much time and money, and put stress on what was meant to be a vacation. Instead, we hung out. We played. We slowly traveled around a few beautiful places/neat things. We had permission to simply "be".

So, especially during this time of Lent, what rest is God calling you to be more aware of/participate in your life? What activity/practice that adds stress to your day could you do without for a bit? What is something in your life that allows you to simply "be"? Find and do....or....not do....and may God meet you there.

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