Monday, August 11, 2014

Slowing Down with Jesus

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28–29 AMP)

I am quickly approaching the end of my current role as Army Branch Director for the Navs Military. Serving these past three years has been a tremendously rewarding and precious gift from God. It has also been exhausting. According to Traxo, in the past three years, I have made 68 trips totaling 218,000 miles to eighteen states and four countries. Now it’s time to slow down for a season.
We’ve spent countless hours in the living rooms and at the kitchen tables of some of the most committed Christ-followers in the world: those who minister in and to the U.S. military. Now it’s the season to spend time in our own living room and eating at our own kitchen table. In short it is time to rest, reflect, and refocus.

Our organization gives us the privilege of a sabbatical. They recommend that our staff take a sabbatical every seven years, but this will be my first supervised sabbatical in more than twenty-eight years on staff. Our sabbatical begins after Labor Day and will continue through the end of this year.
How will we spend that time? First, we will slow the pace of life down and greatly reduce our travel. Then we will spend time reflecting on this past season of leadership and asking God to teach us the lessons He wants us to learn. Finally, we will be focusing on the Lord; seeking to step more fully into the promise that Jesus makes to His followers in Matthew 11:28-29.

We recognize that not everyone can take a sabbatical, but everyone can find the rhythms of life that are appropriate for them and for taking on the easy yoke of Jesus. Our organization offers us this guided process that enables us to disengage from normal ministry activity and leadership involvement for a period of time to allow for serious evaluation of life and ministry. And we intend to take full advantage of it.

As a direct application to this guided process, I will be taking a hiatus from this blog for the rest of the year. Please pray for Iris and me as we enter this time. Pray that we would rest, pray that we would reflect and pray that we would hear from the Master. See you next year!

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