My Intentional Getaway
I HAVE NOT had a weekend off in several months, the only days off have been sick days, my ministry routine has featured music for two or three services every weekend with few exceptions since November and all this has left me a little worn down. I do not tell you these things to complain, on the contrary, God has been continually renewing and providing for me in this time. Giving me the occasional rest when 10:31 is not running at full bore, Saturday Mornings with friends, but I needed something bigger, I needed a chance to get away from it all and so enter Superbowl weekend.
Yes that great sporting spectacle that attracts more attention than tales of a Justin Beiber arrest. The one weekend of the year all forms of drinking and partying are socially acceptable, when we yell for our favorite team unashamed of how we are perceived by those around us. Also the weekend we had been planning a trip since the Ravens won the previous Super Bowl, and I could not have been looking forward to it more.
In my first article of the year I talked about being intentional about getting away. Yes, I meant being intentional about getting away from ministry and day to day routine. From being the drummer in the worship band or from participating in two services so that you never really get fed by your church. Yes, these things are good, they are needed, we are called to be ministers but we also need to be healthy. We also need to take time out of our busy schedules to listen to GOD and discern where He is leading us.
In Mark 1:36-39 we find Jesus doing this exact same thing The Passage reads:
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and *said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He *said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may [a]preach there also; for that is what I came for.” And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons.” (NASB)
Here we see Jesus after His busiest day in ministry, He gets up and leaves the house and goes off to a private place to pray. This was intentional, He understood He needed to recharge. So Jesus goes out and prays, relies on the father for His source of strength and then listens to discover the new direction. Notice that when the Disciples, or in this case Peter, find Him, Jesus does not want to go back to the town, instead He leads them on to Capernaum. Luke records over 20 instances of Jesus retreating from everyday life. So if the son of man could take breaks, should we not then be able too?
Breaks are important, getting away from the hum of ministry and jobs. When I was living in Denver we were required to spend at least an hour each week getting away from everything. For me that meant a trip downtown to walk the 16th Str. Mall or a trip up onto the roof to take in the city. My favorite getaway was at Coffee on the Point where I stopped every day after my internship. This break in my day was needed, it was helpful because it allowed me to process and pray through what I had been experiencing and learning in Ministry. Maybe Jesus was on to something when He went out to pray? Maybe the Son of the God of the Universe knows something we do not?
That to do ministry we must also allow the father to minister to us. He does this though people and through other pastors and co-ministers but most importantly He does this when we get away from everything and seek after God with all our hearts souls and minds. Quieting ourselves before the Lord, listening to the voice of the Most High and responding to it so that we might know the will of the Father.
This past week something very big happened in my life, something unexpected. While I was visiting my friend for the Super Bowl I got a chance to sit back and think about that event and learn what I could, as well as see what God was leading me to do. The change of scenery helped with this, being with old friends helped with this, but most importantly being able to listen to the father without worrying about the next day’s events, while being relaxed, gave me the peace and direction I needed.
We need to be intentional about getting away from ministry, if only for a short time. So that we can be leaders who do not burn-out and who can impact generations to come. Stand up oh men and women of God, it’s time to Take the Lead.