OnFire Encouragement Letter
OnFire # 204 Running to Keep Up
Hi Folks - I realized I forgot to upload my last letter, so two today...
It has happened again.
But before we get into that, let me say that OnFire has always been about my suspicion that, if I have trouble with these things even though I have years of training and I’m a “professional spiritual guy,” then others probably do also. So, here goes.
Its been a crazy fall season which isn’t done yet, and I’m feeling more than a little drained. I feel like I’ve been running just to keep up, and the pack is moving on ahead. It reminds me of those times when I rode in a mountain biking club. Here I was, a novice rider in decent shape, trying to keep up with the Elite athletes with their sponsored clothing and bikes. They stopped once in a while to let us catch up, and as soon as the last rider came along (sometimes me), they would take off again.
Now, here’s the funny thing - I have felt this way before when I was discouraged, but I am not discouraged. It has really and truthfully been a good fall. Programs are going well, attendance is good, there seems to be a good feeling in the church. I feel positive about the church work and about life. The boys and Jan are well. But I’m tired, and my connection with God is starting to feel distant. I’m not feeling spiritually fresh. My creativity is sagging. I’m not paying as much attention to things as I should. I’m feeling a little dry and parched.
Its a good thing I’m on vacation this week. This was well-timed, a God-provided opportunity which He made available a few months ago. It feels good not to set an alarm and to get some things done that I have been neglecting around home. Jan and I have watched a few movies. I’ve taken some naps. And Ian and I will do a little hunting. How quickly the time will go...
But there is another thing which I will be careful to do. I pulled out my journal and blew the dust off. It seems that’s the first thing that gets put aside. And I am setting aside some time to read larger blocks of scripture and to pray.
One of our Arrow Leadership trainers, Bob Biehl, gave us a quotation which has been dropping into my mind a lot lately. “Fatigue, fog, flirtation.” Being tired and drained is a spiritually vulnerable spot, especially when things are going well. We don’t think as clearly as we should or fight temptation as we ought. It is time to be careful, to rest, and to reconnect.
Rest. There are times when the most spiritual thing I do is give my body a rest.
Exercise. Yeeesh. How easy this one goes out the window...
Eat properly. Balanced eating is always the best way.
Take Stock. What is the most important thing I need to do? What can I hand off to others? What do I need to plan for now to avoid pain in the future? What am I going to do? Just as important - What am I not going to do?
Reconnect with God. Its OK to let some things slide to make sure this one stays strong.
In Romans 1, Paul wrote that he longed to see them in order to “impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith.” (Romans 1:11-12)
Why am I writing this week? Its about this feeling that I’m not alone in this. If I feel like I’m getting dry, even though we are in a good season, then I wonder who else is? Can I encourage someone that they are not alone in this? Can I call someone back to the basics of connecting with God by sharing my own need?
I hope this helps. Be on fire.
OnFire is a weekly letter on faith and character by Troy Dennis. Troy is the Pastor of Family Ministries at Highfield Baptist Church, Moncton NB Canada. This letter published Nov 4, 2009. Scripture is from the New International Version. To subscribe or reply, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Archives are located at www.onfireletter.com Blog located at http://onfireletter.blogspot.com/