Time to Pause
This week has been busy to say the least and it's only Wednesday night. I have planned our Wednesday night gathering and our Sunday morning gathering as usual, and on top of that have been planning my first lock-in, which takes place this Friday night...pray for us. I've been going, going, going trying to make sure that I haven't forgotten anything, food, games, projectors, movies, drinks, etc....then I realized I haven't taken any time to 'pause' this week, none at all. A few months ago I read a book by Doug Fields entitled, "Refuel". The whole purpose of the book was to remind us how important it is to spend time with God, and to do so on a consistent basis. After discussing the reasoning behind the need to 'refuel', Fields jumps in to some practical 'how-to'. His 'how-to' is broken down into 3 super simple steps: stop, be quiet, make a connection. The beauty of this is that our times of pause, or 'stops' as he calls them, can be anywhere at anytime. Fields encourages us to make small chunks of time throughout the day where we can stop (get away from the distractions of life), be quiet (actual quiet, i.e. silence) and make a connection (pray, meditate, listen). I made a list of places I would try to 'pause' and the list got bigger and bigger the more I thought about it: before I start my car, before I turn off my car, while I'm brushing my teeth, in the shower, before a meeting, after a meeting, when I wake up, before I go to sleep...you get the picture. In theory this was going to be the easiest spiritual discipline EVER!
But man, do I stink at discipline. I started out great the first week, the second week went OK, the third week was atrocious, and now some 2 months later, I can't even remember the last time I had a conscious 'pause' in my life. I've been going, going, going trying to make sure I've got all my ducks in a row, and only when I thought I had finally got it all squared away I realized the most important 'duck' was completely missing from my nice, neat, well organized row.
And it hit me, square in the jaw. How can I lead my students closer to God if I myself am keeping him at a distance? If I can't make time in my own life to pray, worship, and inquire of God how should I expect that from my students who are equally, if not more busy than I am?
I know it was a God moment when I realized this. God at that moment reached down and got my attention away from what I was doing and directed it towards what I had been ignoring, my relationship with him. And that is a very humbling and slightly humiliating experience, but one I know I needed.
I would encourage you to think about how you can make 'stops' during your day to spend time with your creator. Pick up a copy of 'Refuel' by Doug Fields if you'd like. But remember, as I'm learning this first hand, you're only going to change the way you live if you want to. A cool book, the newest tool, or a new study Bible aren't going to make the change for you. If we want to spend more time with God growing our relationship with him, we have to take the initiative, we have to become disciplined. And I am confident that God will reward that discipline and initiative by revealing more of himself to us. God longs for a relationship with us and that is totally awesome.