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Make Time to Truly Rest

Make Time to Truly Rest
 

When was the last time you rested?

I mean actually rested. I am not talking about taking a nap or “vegging out” in front of the television. I’m talking about the kind of rest that truly restores your soul.

I am the kind of person who loves to work. As a kid I was very “busy”. Some would have called me hyperactive. My mom says, with a gentle smile, that “I was a very active young boy. I always had to be doing at least two things at once.” In high school my class notes were filled with pictures and sketches, which helped me pay attention to my teachers.

As an adult I have been able to harness my energy and pour it into the life God has called my family and I to, here at Arrowhead. My sketches have turned into to-do-lists that are written and re-written on different sheets of lined paper or index cards. I am still very “busy”, but now I have a never ending list of objectives, goals and ideas that have great significance. (And yes, I am that guy in church who unconsciously taps his foot and shakes the pew or clicks his pen during a conversation without knowing it.)

multitasker

I share all of that to say, for me it is very difficult to slow down and be present with God, without an agenda, without a list of goals and in the hopes of resting in what He reveals to me through scripture, prayer, silence, etc. My tendency towards staying busy, even busy with “spiritual things” can make it hard for me to simply be with God.

I have found that the best option for me is to get out of Dodge. I have to vacate the premises. Out of sight equals out of mind for me. When I physically leave camp (where I both work and live), I’m able to leave that busyness behind.

Recently, I scheduled a day of rest and spiritual direction at Kavana House in York, PA. It was the perfect set up. I showed up with no agenda, no to-do list and an open heart to be with God. The staff at Kavana House gave me a room to use for the day with the freedom to move about. It was a day without agenda, save for one session of spiritual direction which turned out to be a tremendous blessing. Actually, the best part was after the session, when I was able to rest in the things God had shown me. Have you heard of or had the opportunity to receive spiritual direction?

Spiritual Direction: What it is.

Spiritual direction is a unique relationship in which a spiritual director helps you notice God’s presence and activity in your daily life. It is a specific format that allows the spiritual director to listen and use formative questions to assist you in being more aware of God’s presence and activity in your life.

Spiritual Direction: What it is not.

It is not a counseling session, a really small discipleship group or individual life coaching. Spiritual direction does not try to find solutions to your problems or give you tools for learning the foundations of the Christian faith. The goal is not to fix you.

Spiritual-Direction-CoverHenry Nouwen’s book on Spiritual Direction has a great subtitle that speaks to the heart of Spiritual Direction – “Wisdom for the long walk of faith.” Spiritual direction gives you the space and the relationship to ask deep questions, have someone tell you what they hear and then rest in what God reveals.

With that helpful definition in mind, it was easy to turn off the to-do list and simply pay attention to God. My afternoon at the Kavana House was a unique experience. For the first time in a long time I was able to rest. I was able to relax, be still and comforted by what God had shown me about myself and more importantly, about Him. I was not anxious to move on to the next thing and I did not feel like I had to accomplish anything with my new found depth in my relationship with God. I just rested.

So let me ask that first question again:
When was the last time you rested?

Have you ever carved out time to be present with God… no agenda, no to-do list? I encourage you to find that space and I challenge you to consider Spiritual Direction as a part of that intentional space with God.

bestill

Ben Myers
Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp
Ben Myers has served as the Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp in Brackney, PA for the past 13 years. Arrowhead is a ministry committed to discipleship through its programs for adults with developmental disabilities, missions opportunities for youth groups, and mentoring of High School and College students. Ben also teaches as an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and holds degrees from Cairn University and Baptist Bible Seminary.
  1. deb06-25-13

    Hey Ben – Great post – your speaking to my heart. So glad you had a good experience at Kavanna. Loved having you there….