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The Stare

05 Nov Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on The Stare
The Stare

I’m going to make a confession. My confession may cause you to stop reading this blog or it may make you happy, happy, happy. I don’t watch many television shows but when I do I pick high quality ones like, “Duck Dynasty.” I know, I just lost some readers. You, on the other hand are intrigued! In one episode Uncle Si was talking about his icy stare that made ducks fall out of the air.

If you’ve been in ministry for any length of time you’ve probably experienced “the stare.” No, not the icy stare like Si’s, rather the “I’m at the end of my rope stare” or the “I have no clue what to do next stare.” The stare may manifest itself in your office, as you try to study, or even as you watch TV. When you find yourself simply staring, it’s not a healthy sign.

After a particular busy season (read that as a stressful season) I finally had a few hours to rest at home. I was spent. My natural inclination was to lay on the couch and simply stare at the TV. Classic mindless consumption. However, I choose a better option, one that was good for my soul. It was healing. I encourage you to do something similar.

The evening was cool and it was just getting dark outside so I made a small campfire in my backyard and pulled up a chair. It was perfect- nature speaks to my soul. But, to avoid simply staring at the fire I opened the Bible app on my phone. The voice began reading the Psalms to me. I soaked up chapter after chapter as I savored the sounds and smells of the campfire. It was healing, delightful, and yes, renewing. Indeed, it was good for my soul.


Perhaps you can’t have a campfire in your backyard or maybe you consider sitting at a campfire as a form of torture. You probably don’t like Duck Dynasty either. So, what is it that renews your soul? Perhaps its journaling, reading, studying scripture, solitude, music. Whatever, the discipline, do it. Avoid “the stare” by intentionally taking care of your soul.

The reality is that staring doesn’t solve anything, it may feel good for the moment but it only continues the downward spiral. Today, find delight in the presence of God by caring for your soul, in the manner that is meaningful to you. Life is better when we’re spiritually healthy. Personally, I’m ready for another campfire. No, my soul needs a campfire. And, to make it even better, tonight I’m declaring s’mores as soul food!

Stay healthy my friend.

Jerry Higley
Executive Director at Lebanon Valley Youth For Christ
Jerry Higley is the Executive Director of Lebanon Valley Youth For Christ and an adjunct faculty member at LBC teaching Student Ministry courses at both the undergrad and graduate level. When he's not at work, he loves spending time outdoors hunting and fishing with his grandkids.