Change of space, pace and place
I was on vacation last week, taking some needed down time to recharge. A buddy and I spent a couple days in the Bay Area watching baseball, eating seafood and going to a concert. It was really good to get away from the normal routine and take the opportunity to relax.
Coming back, I attended a different church, one I had heard about in Reno but had not yet experienced. It was a little different than what I normally experience with my church family at LifePoint Church, with some pieces that were surprising, and some that were familiar. I was challenged and inspired, just as I had hoped I would be. It was a reminder that changing up the spiritual routine once in awhile is important, too. Being in a different space and going at a different pace helped me get my mind and soul in a different place.
We all need that from time to time. With the busy lives we lead and all the activities we do, plus all the time spent on the internet and social media, we can get in the habit of just going and doing. We can easily miss out on what is happening around us or even what is happening within us. God might be trying to tell you something, but with our overstuffed schedules and our busy lives, we have a hard time listening.
And the good habits we have developed like regular worship, serving and personal Bible reading can also fall into the category of background noise if we are not careful. So some regular time away — change of space, change of pace, change of place — can help us refocus on God and hear His voice better.
Jesus modeled this for us. In Luke chapter five, Jesus is in the midst of a busy time. He is recruiting disciples, healing the sick and the crippled, and crowds are gathering to hear Him speak. But tucked away in the midst of this season of activity is this verse: Luke 5:16 — “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”
He made a habit, in the middle of His busy life, to pull away from the routine, from the crowds, from the noise and intentionally take time to connect with God the Father in prayer.
If Jesus needed to do that, how much more do you and I need to make this a habit?
In his book “Too Busy Not To Pray,” Bill Hybels writes, “Most of us are far too busy for our own spiritual good.” So how can we change that? My suggestion: take advantage of the summer to try something new.
On vacation, intentionally read something from the Bible every day.
Take time to read a book on prayer.
When out of town, visit a different church and experience worship with a different church family. Change your space, change your pace, and see God meet you with fresh perspective.
Pastor Bill McCready of LifePoint Church is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.