I work in education, so I am familiar with the traditional Three R’s : reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic.
September, in education as well as in many ministries, is the beginning of the program year. Summer has historically been seen as a “down time” when we can kick back and recharge. Increasingly, we are using that time for conferences, meetings, wrapping up the old year, etc. and there is no true let up. The difficult times we face, whether in meeting budgets or providing our programs, keep the pressure constant and we are fearful of slacking off.
Why is it that we tend to feel that we can’t take a break from our busyness, when God’s plan has always including times of rest? From Creation onward his word espouses regular periods of rest, review and restoration.
I began writing this weekly blog several years ago in conjunction with my term of office on our American Baptist Women’s Ministries national executive committee. It was a way to communicate with the other women and document my personal faith journey. Since my term ended I continued the practice as a writing and spiritual discipline. For the most part it has been an exercise in joy.
However, early this summer the weekly task began to feel more like a chore than an opportunity. After praying and struggling on for a few weeks I decided to take a break and set aside my self-imposed writing schedule. I wasn’t sure if I would take it up again in the fall.
I took the time to review my backlog of blogs to see where I had been and I reflected on the possible reasons to either continue, change my format or give it up.
The first two months I felt nothing but relief every weekend to know that I did not have to post a blog entry. My thoughts and prayers as I walked were focused on personal growth and internal change. It was only as September approached that I began to once again see devotional illustrations to share pop up all along my path. That is when I knew that I could come back to my Power Walk with joy as before.
I believe we are each one meant to lie fallow for a season if we are to give our best during the productive times.
If you have not experienced the updated three R’s lately, perhaps it is time you took a brief break for rest, reflection and restoration.