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Crawling Out of the Canyon

11 Jun Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Crawling Out of the Canyon
Crawling Out of the Canyon
 

We all know that our lives are supposed to be full of balance and rhythm. We have become accustom to telling one another to “slow down,” “pace yourself” and make sure your family and God are the priority in one’s life. The struggle or giant canyon in front of many of us is how we attempt to gain that rhythm, Sabbath or solitude back in our lives when we feel empty, depleted or we have been far from rest and peace.

I am currently entering out of a very busy season in my own life. I was sitting in my office a few weeks ago looking at my desk piled high with things to do, books to read, devotionals that were suggested and wondering where I was supposed to begin. The urgent and critical were passed – things that I had no choice but to make a priority – and now I found myself struggling to choose which things to engage.

I am sure many of you have been there. We remember that deep, connected relationship with God and healthy patterns of rest – but we wonder how we are going to get back to it. Let me share three simple ideas that might help you take those first steps crawling back out of the canyon and getting connected back to our heavenly father.

3 Tips to regaining spiritual health

1.     Start Small.

When we become too hurried and our time with God becomes small, we can feel like we have failed.  We often attempt to regain health in our lives by one of two ways: jumping in and overloading ourselves with goals or by ignoring the problem all together.

Instead of either of these options, we could begin with something small added to our daily routines. Try not to think ahead and plan out for the next six months. Instead, week by week incorporate a small aspect back into your life. For example, for the first week, begin by spending five minutes in silence before you turn your computer on to check your emails, or choose one psalm to read slowly and intentionally.

Start small and begin slowing down. Returning to spiritual health isn’t a hill to be conquered.

2.     Reflect.

We all have different ways of reflecting. Some of us enjoy journaling, others prefer to sit outside in quiet and some may simply want to talk what they are thinking out loud with someone who will listen. Whatever your method of reflection incorporate reflection into this process. Reflect on the busy season and what you learned during that time, and as you begin to incorporate small areas of worship, silence and rest back into your life, reflect on what you are learning now. These times can be incredibly valuable for our walk with God and restoring healthy patterns.

3.     Be encouraged.

In ministry, we spend a lot of time encouraging others – parents, students, co-workers, staff, volunteers, etc. When we are trying to slow down and refresh, it can be helpful to do some personal encouragement. This is a great time to pull out an encouragement file. If you don’t keep the notes, emails and thank you cards you receive from students and parents- begin to! Keep those kind comments and bring them out and be reminded of how God has used you in the lives of others.

Another helpful idea can be finding one activity with a friend or family member that always refreshes you. For some it might be trip to Hershey park to laugh and eat and for others it might be day of hiking in the woods. Find that activity and find a friend to refresh and encourage you for a day.

One Last Thought

While these three activities won’t drastically change everything you are facing, they can help bring some perspective and encourage those first few steps to begin bringing healthy rhythms back into your life.

Meredith Dahl
Executive Directory at Cross Connection Ministries
Meredith is the Executive Director of Cross Connection Ministries in New Holland, PA. She has received a Bachelor of Science in Student Ministry and a Master of Arts in Ministry (Concentration in Student Ministry) from Lancaster Bible College. Meredith and her husband live in New Holland with their baby boy Liam and love living, working and volunteering in their community.