I don’t know why, but I’m not very good at freeing my mind of responsibility and just relaxing. I’m not a big fan of surprises, I like to have a plan; having a plan means you always have to be one step ahead and be thinking what the next play is gonna be. Lately God has been teaching me about surrendering my down time to him; to not be thinking about the next “big thing,” but rejoice in the here and now.
In my job (If you can call it a job) I travel a lot. When I’m speaking to people I feel I’m doing what I was born to do. Especially when speaking to students in a packed out gymnasium, that’s when I’m most in my element. The adrenaline is pumping, there’s laughter and tears, and God is moving in lives. Seeing that student that was once broken give their life to Jesus–that’s the most amazing feeling of accomplishment anyone could ever have. I go to these events and give my all. I go home exhausted knowing I gave everything to those students. I’m great at the event and I’m great at exhausting myself. To tell you the truth if I’m not exhausted I don’t feel like I did my job.
The thing I’m not so good at is resting and recovering from the event. I find that I come home usually in a grumpy mood. I’m exhausted spiritually, mentally, and physically. My lovely wife is always there with a smile to welcome me home. My poor wife. I arrive home drained from speaking, lack of sleep and from conversations with students and I just collapse.
For the longest time I would find myself coming home and immediately jumping into the next big project without taking a day to replenish myself physically, mentally and spiritually. I thought I needed to be like the Christian Terminator destroying my body then bouncing back without any recovery. I felt guilty if I didn’t get right “back to work.” Sadly, I was just fooling myself and not only was I suffering as a result of not resting, I was causing my wife to suffer as well.
When you look the words weak or weakness up in the bible it appears 74 times. In the New Testament its most often talked about by a man named Paul (known as Saul of Tarsus). In 1 Corinthians he speaks to the Corinthians saying, “I came to you in weakness-timid and trembling.” He says that he did this so they would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God. Trusting and relying on the power of God…hmm…now there’s a concept. It’s easy for me to rely on the power of God when I speak because quite frankly I know I would be speaking nonsense without God’s Spirit. However, it’s not that easy for me to rely on God’s Spirit to refuel after a week of ministry. I find myself going into a funk. I’m tired and grumpy and I drink caffeine in an attempt to push past the weakness. I’ve finally come to realize I need to allow my body to come down naturally from this spiritual high and the best thing for my body at that time is REST. Pretty simple isn’t it? Writing a whole blog like this to say all I need to do is rest!
A few weeks ago my wife sent me a video from Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Seattle Washington. It was titled “What to do After the Big Day” and it sparked this blog I’m writing to you now. In it Pastor Mark speaks very candidly and honestly about what I’m speaking about here. As I watched it struck me: “Oh man thats me!” I’m attaching the video to this blog (Click on the text at the bottom “The day after the big day”) and I hope it speaks to you as it did me. I hope you take time to rest and refuel yourself. Do you always find yourself saying how busy you are, how you need to take a break but you needlessly keep plugging away? Drop your pride, realize you’re human, take time to get refueled by the word and REST. But don’t just stop there. List each of the areas in your life that you feel you need to get under control. One of the things I’m trying to do is get on a better sleep schedule. I often find myself up until the wee hours of the morning because I can’t shut down my brain, then the next day I’m exhausted.
Although being weak isn’t fun, I thank God for my weakness because in my weakness he is made strong! I need to learn to rely on his strength and not my own. For those of you who, like me, feel the pressure of being all things to all people, please realize you’re human. I pray you find rest in your soul and in your body. I leave you with 2 Corinthians 12:9 where the Apostle Paul says: “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.”
May we all learn to rely on Gods grace!