Rejuvenate: 13 ways to refresh your soul

refresh.jpgThere is a fine little piece in Leadership Journal (print edition) this quarter (Spring 2007) entitled "Rejuvenate" (13 ways to refresh your soul).  I don’t think it is available online yet.  The author is Skye Jethani who is the editor of Out of Ur, Leadership Journal‘s very fine blog.

The 13?

Take a walk.  He notes that a long walk can quiet the soul.

Pray the daily offices.  "In the early centuries, Christians gathered at designated times during the day for prayer.  These prayer times, known as ‘offices,’ are still practiced by believers today.  With the aid of a prayer book, you can pray alone knowing that others across the globe are sharing in your prayers at the same time." (p. 32)

Say no.  Learning to say "no" can give the soul rejuvenation.

Make a "non-utilitarian" friend.  (I really like this one!)  Make a friend who you appreciate just as a friend and for no other useful purpose.

Fast from media, even ministry books.  (The amount of books, articles, websites, and blogs is absolutely staggering!)

Exercise.  (It is interesting the view of the body that so many of us seem to have.  So many of us treat our minds/souls with such care.  Then we just trash our bodies.  Yet, the same God is creator of the whole person.)

Laugh.  Jethani notes that many subscribers to Leadership Journal say that the cartoons are their favorite. 

Take a pilgrimage.  He quotes Tony Jones as saying that "…pilgrimages are an outward expression of an inward journey."

Find a spiritual director.  This is someone who can give you a "…God’s-eye view of your soul."

Meditate on the Lord’s Prayer.  Jethani says, "The goal is to focus your mind on God so you can commune with him more intimately.  Many short passages of Scripture are used for this kind of prayer, but one of the most common is the Lord’s Prayer."

Begin a hobby.  (Ouch!  He got me.  I used to play golf and fish.  I stopped doing these when the kids were little and took a great deal of time.  Then my "hobby" became sports-watching.  Yet, there is something to be said for actually doing something.)

Write an encouraging letter.  He encourages all to write letters expressing gratitude and appreciation.

Break something.  He tells the story of how one minister released the tension. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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15 thoughts on “Rejuvenate: 13 ways to refresh your soul

  1. This is a great list, and certainly not the mediocre grey tope 10 types of things you might expect to find, really creative ideas in here I like them!

  2. Great post! I really like what you said. I do have one question though, isn’t the essence of friendship non-utilitarian? If you have a utilitarian relationship with someone, wouldn’t that be more of a business relationship (or manipulating, if they are malicious) not a friendship? Just a few thoughts. Thanks again for the great post!

  3. What a great list! I need to print that out and place it near my laptop, desk, car, and in my Bible cover.
    My hardest one is "saying no." Since we began working with our current congregation a year and a half ago, the word "no is easier because everyone takes an active part.
    Great list!

  4. Jim, I’m really glad you posted this list. It was a timely reminder for me.  Thanks for your continued encouragement!

  5. Excellent Jim … thanks for sharing this. I finished Celebration of Discipline today … I’m such a slowpoke reader … but the ideas here resonate with my needs. Thank you.

  6. Brittany,You have a point.  I do think it is possible to be in relationships with people where there is a great deal of "usefulness" at work.  In some way, we are benefiting one another through our friendship.I think Skye in his article was emphasizing the kind of friendship where you are simply friends and there really isn’t any other benefit or blessing other than the friendship.I probably wasn’t very clear in the post. Thanks. 

  7. Break something?  That’s a discipline I can handle.  In fact, I already excel in it! 
    Unfortunately, there aren’t too many from within our tradition who are trained as spiritual directors.  We’ve got some good spiritual friends and counselors, however.  Perhaps with some of the recent work with spiritual formation we’ll begin to help new ministers and old shepherds learn how to discern the deeper movements of the soul so that we can give real, effective spiritual direction.

  8. What a practical list – what a wonderful selection of life giving/refreshing practices. Thanks for sharing it. I think the challenge as Ben states it – is that so many of these rich ideas are heirlooms from the pre-reformation era and have been hidden in a roman closet. Few understand or can guide others in the practices of genuine pilgrimmage, spiritual direction, meditation, liturgical prayer, etc. Yet that certainly doesn’t diminish the list – it merely puts the onus on Christian folks to get in touch with our long and varied heritage and rediscover the many heirlooms that have fallen out of use.

  9. Like Ben, I could certainly, easily break something. But I really question the value of that. Maybe it would be better to build something… a house of cards, a little stone sculpture outside, something. That seems more in tune with God’s spirit and his ultimate hopes for us.