“I used to be miserable when I was not training for or actually participating in a marathon. But since I have learned how to appreciate and engage in “down time” I have significantly improved my marathon times.”
Spoken by a marathon runner on why his marathon times have improved with age. Some type A folks find that when the pace of life slows down due to a decreased workload, holidays or vacations, they are frustrated. Without deadlines or adrenaline rush they have a low-grade attitude infection. Often they unconsciously create a crisis at work, at home or on vacation to add excitement and a challenge. Some Christians seem to always need a crisis to keep the spiritual life energized. Christians always have a challenge, but should not always require a crisis.
Below are five things you can do to stay spiritually vibrant without a crisis and can help you use the slower moments of life for a greater purpose.
Recognize the need for down time. Change your attitude toward ordinary days, holidays, and slow days. Realize that this is a great time not just to relax but to be aware of and fully engage in the presence of God.
Use down time to listen to others. When the pace at work is slow or the activity schedule at home is light, don’t look for something to do, instead seek out someone to listen to God often speaks to us through people.
Occasionally sit in silence. Turn off the television, disconnect the earphones, put the smart phone away and don’t even pick up a book. For 10 minutes a day take a vacation from both planning and worry and ask God to fill your mind with holy and wholesome thoughts.
Make your Sunday a day to worship God and fellowship with people of God. Make sure that every Sunday you reflect on the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Yes, participate in Sunday morning Bible study groups and engage in corporate worship, but use some quiet time on Sunday to do personal worship as well. This will help put the issues of life in perspective. One hundred years from now the crucial work-related issue or the broken garbage disposal in your kitchen will have no meaning, but your relationship with God through Jesus will mean everything.
Ask God to help you appreciate the slower seasons of life. Often we say we want things to slow down, but in all honesty we do not. For a slower pace may make us face and deal the issues of the soul.
“Be still, and know that I am God; (Psalm 46:10a) is just as true as “ I can do all things through Christ” (Philippians 4:13a) which is often the energy verse for many Christians.
See you Sunday!
Your interim pastor,