Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spiritual Rest

One thing I love about Red Mountain is that they encourage spiritual rest of their leadership. We have two days every quarter of the year to take a spiritual retreat. No office time. No expectations to answer emails or phone calls or text messages. The only expectation is that we spend time with God. In a culture that thrives on being constantly busy, finding a moment of genuine rest can be pretty difficult. I must admit, I haven't taken a spiritual retreat day since October, so I've fallen prey to the lie that success in ministry depends on me. It doesn't. It depends on Jesus. I just get to come along for the ride, and I'm not very effective if I'm not taking time to be in tune with Christ.

So I took a spiritual retreat day yesterday. I had to go to the dentist in the afternoon--bad scheduling on my part--but otherwise spent the rest of the day in Scripture, reading books, journaling, and dreaming. That's it. I literally sat around in my underwear and read the Gospel of Matthew while scribbling down my musings about Jesus, church, and the direction my life is headed. It was simple. Yet I God stirred in my spirit in a way I haven't experienced in weeks, opening my eyes to new truths and reminding me of who He is. I pondered the simple phrase "Jesus is Lord" for over an hour. (Have you ever stopped and thought about the vast implications of these three words? That Jesus is Lord over every aspect of our lives, not just compartmentalized to one area or lifestyle or culture? That He is Lord of my sandwich, Lord of my toothpaste, Lord of my finances, Lord of my marriage, Lord of my son's life, Lord of all creation and history? It's remarkable.)

The underlying truth behind spiritual retreats is that we don't view the church leadership as program directors or event coordinators. We were never called to be in an office 50 hours a week to answer phone calls and sit in meetings. We are first and foremost human beings in need of rest. We are also spiritual guides, the ones with Spirit-infused gifts to shepherd, teach, and lead the Body into whatever it is God has for us. We can't do this without rest.

Do you need a spiritual retreat day? Why not take one?

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