There are times in life when it is time to unplug from the race of life. Each day has a built in time of rest. The sun disappears, the sky darkens and our bodies grow weary. We rest. Each week there is typically a day that is spent away from work. Each year there is at least some time set aside for a vacation or a ceasing of activity.
After many years of ministry and ongoing continuing education, it was time for me to unplug. Working every weekend and being “on call” constantly can wear one down. That is not to mention life as a parent and husband. My life is no different from anyone else's. Many people stay very busy.
I do rest at night. I do very well to take a day each week to stop work. However, it is time for me to completely unplug and retreat into the presence of God. I have needed extended time of prayer and reflection. Donna and I learned at the Pastor Retreat Network that a “retreat” or a “sabbatical” is much different from a “vacation.” By definition a “vacation” is an attempt to stop work activity in order to return to work with greater strength. A retreat is an intensification of activity by intentionally withdrawing from daily life. A retreat focuses activity on solitude and spiritual discipline to draw closer with God.
So, what am I doing? I am resting. I am watching every sunrise. I am praying without ceasing. I am conversing with God and listening. I am journaling. I am reading classic books of Christianity by Bonhoefer, Keirkegaard, and Guyon. I am watching the sun set. I am spending time alone with God in nature. I am walking and talking with Donna. I am writing and working on a book. I am listening to other people preach.
Life can get the best of you. God wants all of you. Maybe it would do you well to take an afternoon off from work and pray. Maybe you might rest better by turning off the television and sitting and reading some Psalm like Psalm 40 or 27. Maybe you might do better at work if you tried to smile and pray for everyone you met, served, called, drove past, or ate with. God wants to live with you. Do you want to live with God?
Thanks for granting me time to actively retreat with God. Thanks for praying for me. To give you a window here are pictures I took on the property of Donna’s parents in the South Texas Hill Country. This was one of many sunrises I watched develop in the midst of prayer with God.