I have long struggled with how to recharge my batteries. It is hard enough to 'unplug' from all that is happening when you are pastoring, let alone when I am iavailable. That's right, iavailable. Ipad, iphone, ipod, iambatman. Anyway, becoming refreshed for me means that I have to get out of town and unplug. Taking a day or so off is helpful but getting out of my context helps me reflect and renew.
Recently I had a conversation with my friend and mentor. I mentioned this problem to him. I have taken any number of vacations and time away but have never recharged. After asking me some pointed questions he commented that perhaps I had merely been distracting myself.
Isn't that what vacations are for!? I look forward to the break in the routine.
Therein lies the problem.
(Before I make my confession, I would like to ask people to be gentle in their judgments. Please feel free to comment on my spirituality or lack thereof, just be gentle, I am still a work in progress.)
When you eat, breathe, live, sleep, think, encourage and talk about all things Jesus, devotions become part of the norm. It is clear that you need to be connected to the Vine in order to 'do' daily life. When that pattern gets disrupted, it is easy to allow my relationship with Jesus to get disrupted. Without the pressing needs ministry may bring, my habit of devotion can be forgotten or fall to 'I'll do it later'.
Pragmatically speaking, vacation has unintentionally meant taking a break from Jesus.
No wonder I couldn't recharge! I was not connected to the volt, wattage or whatever you would call Christ in the Spirit, I needed to renew!
Some of you may be saying "Duh!". Rightfully so. The personal relationship with Jesus comes before all things, I get it. I am wondering if I am not the only pastor who has been lulled to sleep this way.
So our recent vacation was filled with prayer, scripture, devotion and worship. It was wonderful! I actually recharged! Go figure. 'Prone to wander Lord I feel it!'
Filing this one under lessons learned...confessions of an Anglican Priest.