Monday, October 18, 2010

So How Did the Time Away Change You?

Three months. Twelve weeks. Time in Elkhart and Michigan and Europe and on a ship and in Florida. Time alone. Time with Sharon. Time with the family and our granddaughters. What did it mean? What did I learn?

A friend who went on a sabbatical several years ago told that you really don't fully understand what God has done in you for several months or years after you have returned. I have this image of a sort of "time release" of truth and change that will keep going off for weeks and months.

Here are some things I noticed/learned:
  • Stopping is good. Many of us are on a treadmill that moves too fast and it is good to stop. My relationship with God grew and deepened when I stopped.
  • I felt "lighter." I am someone who has been pretty serious. A problem solver. Thinking about the big challenges facing us. And I discovered it felt good not to be constantly thinking through how every big problem could be solved. I discovered I felt "lighter" the more I trusted God to handle the world. I realized it is okay to stop...to smile...to laugh... to play...and not to carry the responsibility of the world around on my shoulders 24/7.
  • Joy is cool.
  • One of the best gifts God has ever given us is ourselves. Sometimes we let the person God made us to be get covered up...papered over...and we need to be good stewards of our own heart and mind and body and soul.

So I've come back and as I do I think I will:

  • Work hard to focus on a few essential tasks God needs for me to do here at Trinity.
  • Do my best to "fit" into the way God has been at work in my absence. The staff and our leaders have developed a new rhythm while I have been away and I don't want to get in the way of the good that is happening!
  • Do less and do it better.
  • Love God and continue to make an extended time with God the first thing I do every morning.
  • Don't even look at email until I am well into the day, and not do any work on-line in the evening unless it is absolutely necessary.
  • Head home earlier. Remembering the lesson of our neighbor in Mishawaka. Carlton was a farmer and when it was time for supper he turned off the tractor and went home. Even if he was close to having a field planted or harvested. There was a time to stop because the work was never done.
  • Listen to less news in the evening.
  • Watch less tv.
  • Spend time each week beginning the writing ministry our leaders have been nudging me to undertake.
  • Do my best to finish writing the sermon on Wednesday so that every Friday I get a full day off.
In Psalm 51 David says "teach me wisdom in my secret heart." Later, he goes on to say, "Fill me with joy and gladness." God is, I say with thanksgiving, doing both in my life right now.

Every morning I begin with this prayer: "Jesus, thank you for this morning and this breath. Give me a sweet and joyful spirit, a soft and compassionate heart, and the courage to say and be who you need me to be today."

6 comments:

royal said...

Hi,
I have read your blog and I appreciate the information which you shared here. I update my knowledge after read your post.

Thanks for sharing!
Vehicle Tracking Device

royal said...

Hi,
I am really admire the information which you shared here in your blog which is really good read to me.

Thanks
Waterproof IP Camera

royal said...

Nice Post!
I am really glad to found your post in which you offered interesting information. It is really good read to me.

Thanks for sharing information!
Crystal Bridal Jewelry

royal said...

Hi,
I have read your blog and I appreciate the information which you shared here. I update my knowledge after read your post.

Thanks for sharing!
Ebay Clone Software

royal said...

Hi,
I am really admire the information which you shared here in your blog which is really good read to me.

Thanks
Best E-Learning Software

royal said...

Nice Post!
Faljo.com is your online source for Online Auctions, Online Shopping, Car Auctions and much more. Buy and Sell with our Online Auction community today, the World's online marketplace. Just Sign up and begin to buy and sell everything in auction now.

Thanks for sharing information!
Sell Buy Car