Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Abandon Annually

I heard someone describe a rhythm of rest this way:

divert daily
withdraw weekly
quit quarterly, and
abandon annually

I'm pretty good to divert daily from the stress of ministry either by study or exercise. I withdraw weekly on Saturdays which I guard with my life not to do any thing related to doing ministry. I enjoy being with friends and family--almost all who are part of Legacy.

I stink at the other two. The concept to quit quarterly is to take a two-day retreat from work in order every three months to evaluate and recharge. I have never adopted that rhythm. And, I never abandon annually well.

It's not that I am afraid of the silence and solitude that abandonment brings. I'm afraid of getting behind. I have come to learn that my fear is based on my ego-centric estimate of myself which makes me think I'm the only one that can do all that stuff and my lack of trust in God to get his work done without me. That is, after all, what God called me to do, wasn't it?

I have also found that I tend to fill my vacation days with things other than my routine when I am working
. For me, vacation means doing all those things you don't have time to do otherwise. We have scheduled this week to complete our 2008 income tax return (yes, I have filed extensions), clean out the garage (we have not done this in years, maybe 10), and work in the yard and flowerbeds that have grown up since we worked them in the spring. All this while planning our week-long trip to Red River, NM next week and Summer's wedding next spring. (My youngest is engaged! Check out my facebook page for more.)

Along with those projects, I am preparing for the next BH Carroll course at Legacy, the Ph.D. seminar, Jesus and Leadership, I am leading for Carroll next fall, working on a webinar I am doing for The Columbia Partnership, starting my next writing project for LifeBible Study, and looking ahead to August when I return for a month of family worship at Legacy, our fall ministry season, the WCA Leadership Summit, and Legacy's own leadership Saturday later that month. So, who can rest?

My opportunity this next two weeks will be to find a rhythm of rest and release in the middle of all I have been called and chosen to do. The pace will definitely be slower, and I will lay some of those things aside for God and others to do in my absence. In all of it, I will seek to hear God above the dust and noise and in the paths different than those I walk the rest of the year.

How do you do at these things?

3 comments:

Dustin said...

I have a great paper you'd enjoy reading on this subject. Give me a call for lunch sometime this week and i'll bring it along for ya.

pturner63 said...

I pretty much stink at the quarterly and annual stuff. We did vacation this summer and I did nothing work related and disengaged from all things ministry. Does not sound very spiritual but probably was the most spiritual thing I have done in years.

faithrunner said...

Yes, we don't put much spiritual value on abandonment in order to recharge. I'm looking forward to what next week will bring me as I do the same.