“Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest,” Jesus once said to His disciples. And this was based on His personal experience. Several times in the Gospels we read of Jesus getting away by Himself. It was vital to recharge His batteries by spending time with His Father in solitude.
Presently our family is in Colorado for three weeks of downtime. Though I have a few speaking events scheduled I’ve spent very little time hunkered down behind my computer screen. Rather, I’ve been out in the open air sitting on a tractor seat, hiking in the Rockies, and hanging out at a ranch. I’ve also cut back on listening to podcasts and music. I’m taking time to listen and pray.
The skies are vast, the air is fresh, and my mind is currently at rest.
Several years ago while still living in Southeast Asia my wife and I came to a point of mental, emotional, and physical burnout. Instead of traveling back to North America for a furlough we opted for nine weeks of rejuvenation in the beautiful country of New Zealand. We moved far away from schedules, meetings, and the obligatory demands we tend to put on ourselves. One of the critical decisions we made during this “vacation-with-a-purpose” was to say “No” more often in order to say “Yes” to the most important.
Through past experiences we have learned that “Good” often becomes the the enemy of “Best”. Attending numerous events to keep friends and family happy and generally over committing in an attempt to serve others had caused us to burn out. Maintaining a healthy tension between rest and service is difficult but of critical importance. In one New Testament story Mary chose what was best by sitting at Christ’s feet while Martha concerned herself with what Jesus deemed unimportant (see Luke 10:38-42).
More of us need to spend time putting together “Not-to-do” lists rather than “To-do” lists. We also need to schedule more solitude times to get the mental and emotional rest necessary for the long haul.
So schedule some solitude time. Re-align yourself with your personal values. Set aside a day this month or a week in the coming year to get away from the busyness of life and rest, think, and listen.