I don’t know that there is any time of the month more valuable to me in terms of refreshment than July when I am away for vacation as well as a couple of weeks of study. On one occasion during the month, I stayed at a hotel where there was an atrium area near my room. Early one morning, I sat at a table with my Bible, my journal, a newspaper and a fresh cup of coffee.
I wrote in my journal,
…Getting away like this helps–a lot! Too often I let familiarity dull my senses and stifle my curiosity. Being in this place and reading my Bible and just thinking… I needed to do this. I read the sermon on the Sermon on the Mount, the newspaper, and just watching people. This makes me feel alive again.
Perhaps you know what I mean. The words on the page of Scripture really mean something. People become more interesting. The coffee even seems to taste better. (Well it seemed that way).
Today, I have been praying about coming back to work. I pray for the church. I pray for the sermons that I will preach and the class that I will teach. I pray that God will place in my mouth the words that he wants said. I pray for my ministry with this church and in this community. Most of all, I pray that I will be fully alive in Christ as I relate to people in the body of Christ and in our community.
Being away has a way of helping me to clarify what is important. On most days, I really love what I do. Yet, increasingly, I find that I don’t have the energy or the inclination to spend time on things that don’t count.
As a church, it is critical that we not be satisfied with so little…
We can’t be satisfied with having a balanced budget or paying off our existing debt.
We can’t be satisfied with having a large number of people in our auditorium on Sunday morning.
We can’t be satisfied to have some organized ministries that seem to be running smoothly.
We have been called to more than that! We have been called to be a group of people who are sold out for Jesus. Jesus has summoned us! We are not simply a “volunteer organization.” We are the body of Christ, a people who have been summoned to be a part of an important work. We have been called to be a group of people who desire above all else to see men and women become fully devoted followers of Christ. Furthermore, the things that count bring joy, energy, and really do fuel the passion of believers who have hearts for God.