Saturday, 26 July 2014

Fitness of my soul

I was reading my daily devotional this morning on the Bible app (YouVersion) & the reading plan is called '30 Devotions for Youth Leaders'. 

Today's jumped out at me by reminding me of all my comrades who are either on thinking of taking stress leave, taking it already or have resigned. 

Leaders of the church all have a target on them by the world & of course the enemy so they (we) need to be in a place where we stay close to Jesus, hour by hour or we all will fall!

Let me share the devotional from today, I trust it will be helpful to you as it was for me;

"The Fitness Of My Soul
In many medical circles, the pace at which your heart rate returns to normal after intense exercise is a key measure of your fitness. The faster your heart rate recovers, the fitter and healthier your heart.

The ability to recover is as telling as the ability to explode into activity. How fast we can slow down is as important as how fast we can go.

I’ve grown increasingly aware that this same phenomenon exists in my spiritual journey. Frankly, I’ve been guilty of saying that when I get away it can take up to a week to wind down. I extoll the virtues of a two-week vacation because the first week is spent sifting through the clutter of my preoccupied mind.

I don’t find much in the biblical account of the life of Jesus that talks about two-week vacations. In fact, Jesus had incredibly short recovery times.

“Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” ~ Matthew 14:1314 (ESV)

Jesus, on hearing of the cruel death of John the Baptist stole away for some quiet time. He needed a desolate place to be by Himself. With His Father. He had just a short time before the demands of ministry burst on the scene, but for Jesus, a few hours with His Father were enough to return His soul’s pulse rate to normal.

The fitness of Jesus’ soul forces me to wonder – have I made too much room for the clutter and chaos of my life? Do I expect too little of my personal Sabbath? Can I find rest in a matter of moments with Jesus, or have I excused the mess in my life, even though it strangles my spiritual breathing?

I’m not condemning vacations, but I realize that I need to become better at finding short times of recovery. Times of Sabbath and Selah.

Often, the health of my soul can be measured by how quickly I recover – to forgive, to feel regret, to extend grace, to show love, to exhibit courage.

What could God do, with just a few minutes?"

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