Last week I wrote on the importance of refreshment and maintaining a regular time with God in honest recognition of His reign over your life. Jesus found it necessary to withdraw to the lake, to the mountain, or beside the road to be alone with God. He needed rest and renewal in order to go back among the throngs of people. If he needed it, we need to make sure that we incorporate a time of refreshment into our busy lives. That doesn’t mean just laying around all day (although it may mean sleeping until you wake up on your own instead of by an alarm clock). But, we should purposefully center our rest and renewal around these suggested areas:
1) A time to stay at home: Families are going in so many different directions today. Finding some time to recoup as a family by doing something special on a weekly basis helps to reconnect and refresh. You also model to your children the value of family time and the life-long, vital connections that are made early in life (remember the message of Cats in the Cradle).
2) A time to read, study and write: I talked to someone the other day, who, in the process of writing out her Christian testimony, has been reminded of all the ways in which God was working in her life when she didn’t even realize it. This revelation brought a sense of excitement and joy. Reading Christian biographies and inspirational books will also buoy your spirit. Additionally, with life and societal changes always happening, there is the need to stay current and retool. Do you carve a niche in your schedule for reading, studying, writing, and concentrating on new subjects and new interests?
3) A time to play and serve: Some playtime should be a part of renewal and rest. Playtime might include long hikes, participation in an enjoyable sport, unstructured playtime with the family, and trips to historic locations. It could also include an outreach work project, such as an emergency disaster project. Serving in ways out of our normal area of ministry is surprisingly energizing.
4) A time to enjoy the beauty of life: Beauty in nature offers many benefits. Very beautiful scenes are often in quiet places. Beauty stimulates the senses. In such a setting, it is easy to get in tune with the Creator.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky proclaims the work of His hands.
2 Day after day they pour out speech;
night after night they communicate knowledge
(Psalm 19:1-2, HCSB)
5) A time for Bible study and prayer: This is a very important part of restoration. It can take place along with some of the other experiences at times (as in nature). This is a time to read those things that focus on praising God through inspirational books, poems, and hymns, including meditation and reflection.
These are only a few suggestions, but don’t neglect this vital area of your life. Medical science has demonstrated that the effects of rest are significant, indicating the great role that rest can play in our physical and emotional well-being.
Points to Ponder:
- If you have a family at home, what are (or have been) your suggestions for ways in which your family has found refreshment together (board games, outdoor activities, camping, etc.) Leave comments!
- What have you found to be the best way for you to find replenishment for body, soul and spirit?