Friday, December 01, 2006

Looking to find a sabbath... Wanting to make it Holy...

So last week was Thanksgiving and I had a great time with my family and closest friends. Even got to spend time with my boy Ashdown who is residing currently in Houston (Texas has snow right now and we don't... don't get me started...). These times were beautiful... I have more great family and friends than any one man, espeacially myself, deserve...

Well I was looking forward to this holiday b/c I had no plans... not traveling... no expectations.. nothing.. a little something I would call a break... and I was looking forward to it... like no words can explain...

You see my wife and I and, well, about 130 of our closest family and friends (to make it simple) are planting a church right now... well kinda (it's kinnda been a community for a while now but just moved stuff)... but really we did cause we are really seeking what it looks like to be the "Church" God would have us be and we are moving in directions we have never gone in before... we are leading and yet empowering in areas like never before... we have also recently aquired a beautiful new building in the heart of Raleigh that we have completely (almost, well not really, but done alot of work) remodeled... mostly by all of our own community, which was beautiful to see... on top of all that I am desperately seeking to really find my specific role within the context of our church...

So all that to say.. I have been a bit "busy"... I like being productive... i love things moving forward into uncharted areas... I am always searching for what's next and we are in a great place to be searching for that... so much so that a strange thing happened on last Friday when I tried to just relax...

On my day off... that i had so looked forward to... it happened... so stinking crappy... By 11:30am... I was no joke... sick to my stomach (but not food poisining kinda sick... ) I was bored, angry, frustrated, impatient, and stale.. I opened my email but it was Thanksgiving (no one is emailing me)... I had my stuff ready for Sunday morning cause I was gonna "not work" on the end of the week for Thanksgiving... My wife had to work and none of friends would return my phone calls as all already prolly had plans or something... I went to our new building to find something to clean... it was all done form the week bfore... SO i decided to try and write music... only problem was I was mad, burnt out, and completely uninspired... by 5:00pm I realized something... I have completely forgotten how to rest... I in all honesty got extremely frustrated... and borderline paniced... dead serious...

pause.. fast forward to Monday...

I was listening to this podcast by Rob Bell... He spoke of how Jesus wants to save us from "life happening to us"... From things just going by and us missing them... He spoke of rhythym of life and rhythym of creation... he spoke of the sabbath and reminded us not to treat it as a bunch of rules or "law" b/c we are not made for the sabbath, but to delight in it... enjoy it... take it... b/c the sabbath was made for us... for me... dang it... (Mark 2:27 paraphrase - New Living Jason Gore Translation - NLJGT - 39.95 Best Buy)

He talked about how when he and his wife first decided to take a sabbath a couple years ago... by 1:30pm they fealt like commiting suicide they were so bored... (I didn't feel as wierd when he said this) He just said it seemed so strange to phisiologically rest... like really get away from any stimulus that represents work to you...

He actually made mention of how even in zoos, Zoologists have noticed about a 6 day limit on the animals that are out on "disply" before their activity decreases substantially... did you catch that... the animal kingdom has a built in 6 day on, one day off rhythym... AMAZING!!! (and I am so stinkin much smarter than animals that I wont even slow down enough to realize how I was created... ok, well I know technically I am an animal kinda... and that is my point... kinda)

Anyways... So through this podcast and a few days of pondering... I have realized this... I have lost all sense of a rhythym in my life, in this world, in our days, even in my year... I have no idea where I am and maybe even how I am... I know I am busy and that is it... and honestly I am borderline ready to say screw it all... Not because I am burnt out... I am disciplined and dedicated and can work witht he best of them... but because I know I am missing out on the life God wants for me... I am missing the beauty that is right in front of me everyday... this, when I think of it this way, makes me want to cry... I live my life to tell people and to show the world the great life we can have following the Way of Jesus... yet I know so little of it... I know in my soul it is the best way to live yet I miss this part everyday... I am a follower of the Way yet am not enjoying the path I am following... (I have this image in my head of walking through a huge field full of flowers and birds.... streams and lakes... rolling hills all around and mountains in the distance... cool breeze right at my back... yet I am just walking briskly... not looking to the left or right... only concerned with walking forward.... forward... forward...) (sorry for the image if you are not a feeler... I am... prolly why all this hurts me so much)

WOW.. this was long.. Funny thing is, I feel like I could keep typing... but for the sake of any who kept reading this far... I will stop...

To those close to me... pray for me... pray I find some rhythym... pray I find The Rhythym... pray I can be disciplined enough to find a sabbath... find a way to make it Holy... maybe look yourself to find one if you feel the same burden...

I gotta believe our Creator knows what is best for us... I want to know the very best God has for us... may we not buy into the lie of our culture and socitety... not selling out to only busyness and productivity...

Lord I know I am no where near where I should be... I confess that... thank you for forgiveness and grace... I beg for wisdom... for direction... and for discipline... help me to find my sabbath...

Well... searching... following the Way... wanting all God has made us for...

Shalom,

-J

5 comments:

Alyssa said...

Isnt it the truth that we get so caught up in the hum drum of life! And that we have a God that knew from the beginning of time that we would get caught up in it. He inteded for us to rest, He created those birds, flowers, streams and the cool breeze for us to enjoy. It's sad that we get in the way of yourselves enjoying that!

I don't know that I'd pray that you get into the rhythm but pray that you'd take a break from the rhythm of life that you've created for yourself and how fast and frantic it's become. I guess I'd say let go of the rhythm, enjoy being off beat, and learning what it's like to be outside of the insanity.

Heck...I have no idea if that acutally makes sense and it may just contradict what you said but I hope you get what I'm trying to say :)

Blessings

ashdown said...

wow. great words. i know exactly how you feel. it took me forever to learn how to use the sabbath. you are so right - it was created for us and we must use it. i am praying for you man. and the funny thing is right now i am enjoying my sabbath time - my sanctuary - so i am stoked to be praying for you in this time.

here is how i dive in my sabbath. every friday, my rhythm is to sleep in a bit on fri am - head out to a quaint, quiet coffee shop - and spend 2 hours reading, writing, praying, resting, listening. (the in-ear monitors help SO MUCH fyi) one resource i use is www.sacredspace.ie - it is an amazing prayer site that helps launch me into sabbath...

cant wait to hear how God continues to shape you through these times.

shalom, friend.

Anonymous said...

i am reminded by your thoughts that good things never come easily and often arise out of struggle, crisis, pain. i appreciate your openess and humility in sharing your thoughts..

I'm convinced when we go through things that eat at us, we have the opportunity to find God in new ways.

I've been reflecting on theme of exile throughout the scriptures as the place of new beginnings, new hope, and finding God. Think about it- exile- adam, abe, jacob, joeseph, moses, exodus, wilderness, babylon exile, god's exile from heaven into jesus, peter, paul, the acts community...

i think the times we feel these kind of soul struggles that you are expressing are the very times we can hear God's voice afresh because we realize we need God and no longer want to control things ourselves because it just doesn't work, just doesn't bring the life that is real life. i pray you find your new beginning and God in new way- rest and life to the bones...

out

cp

Chris M said...

I agree, it's so hard to rest, shut off the mind and find shalom.

I agree with Ashdown, you have to schedule the sabbath, and demand nothing gets in the way.

I also think it's important for us to set an example to the rest of the world. If Pastors are unbalanced and burnt out, how will those in the church be?

Good stuff bro.. Love ya and miss ya!

Deanna Regina said...

funny...you have a blog...bahahaha