I’m in need of backing off just now.
Do you know how it feels to crack on with work and you’re loving it and its going well but you feel like there are things you’re doing which you’re just pressing on with and you just need to stop. For a second.
That creative idea you’ve had has been shelved for a while, or you’re plowing on with it but it feels like there’s something missing... You’re having loads of conversations but you’ve run out of answers or things to say. If you’re honest, the decisions you’re making have become more automatic than intentional.
Have you ever wanted someone to tell you to back off and go away for a while so that you could do just that?
A student worker friend said to me last week ‘I can’t believe its my job to pray, it feels like I'm slacking off’. In our world obsessed with productivity, proving worth and getting results it does seem counter-intuitive and even guilt-inducing to stop, pray and process.
"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed"
I have found that retreat time - time out to reflect, pray and listen to God - whether a day or half a day, is a vital rhythm for maintaining hope, vision, even productivity in my working life. When you’re making decisions that are helping shape people’s experience of church, encouraging their relationship with God and challenging their day to day lifestyle its important to make sure that’s coming from a healthy place.
When I back off, stop being practically involved for just a short time, the impact is amazing. I gain clarity, insight, peace, hope and inspiration to press on.
So back off.
I'm going to do so on the 14th March, can I encourage you to book some time into your diary in the next month to to the same. Get away from the jobs and bring it all before God. I’m very up for chatting more about ways to spend that retreat time if that would help. I’d love to hear your experiences of this so please do let me know how it goes for you.
God bless in all you're leading.
Disclaimer: I realise life is very busy and there’s not always easy space for this. If you’re working for a church then I would challenge you to find space in your working day at some point in the next month - this is the kind of thing that should form part of your job. I’m really happy to chat about it more if you're interested in finding a way to do that.
Photo Credit: voidstern