Hi everyone, Rob here.
Anyone who knows my nearly 7 year old daughter Jaz (Jasmine) knows that she is a veritable force of nature. Bright as a button, physically capable and keen, a great sense of humour and a regular source of hugs make Jaz an absolute joy to be around. Many people wouldn’t pick, though, that one of Jaz’s favourite things is to sit quietly in her room with a ton of books and read. It’s not contradictory to her dynamic personality; it’s simply how she recharges.
Recharging is absolutely vital to our spiritual health. Almost everyone I know is busy – too busy. The problem is that we’re very poor at scheduling in times to recharge. We mistake relief for restoration and functioning for living. This is often due to a lack of self-awareness. We don’t know how to recharge because we don’t know what our hearts need. When it comes to recharging after a time of busyness we need to go after the restoration of our hearts. I find there are three things that help to restore me: beauty, space and surrender – in that order.
Over the weekend Kiley was away and the kids and I were sitting at the table having dinner when the most amazing sunset started. The pink and orange hues grew in intensity and we all looked at it in awe. It didn’t last long but that beauty at the end of a busy day filled our hearts, turned our thoughts to God and made us grateful for our lives. That’s what beauty does. It centres us in God because he is beautiful. It warms us, fills us and feeds us.
But beauty without space often goes overlooked. I’m sure that over the years I’ve missed many sunsets because I had no mental or emotional space for them. But that evening we had no agendas, no stress and no obstacles to stop us gazing in awe and letting God’s beauty do its work. Making space doesn’t usually come by accident though. We need to let go of control, let some things go undone. We have to make cracks so light can get in. God doesn’t need a lot of space to get in; a crack will do.
Finally comes surrender. This is where we bend the knee and give our hearts over to the God of love afresh. We give God permission to turn the crack into a chasm and let him into our deepest places, our deepest fears and our deepest desires. We hand them over to him, trusting him with our hearts and our lives. Too often we never make it to this point. We observe beauty but don’t let it in or we make space only to fill it with TV and web-surfing. We spend time in quiet but don’t come back changed.
Where is beauty for you? It needs to be accessible. Ask God to help you see beauty that’s around you. I like snow-capped mountains and glacial lakes but Hamilton doesn’t have those so I have learnt to appreciate flowers, trees, sunsets, ponds and forests. How can you make space for God this week? I take a walk at lunchtime and take time for prayer before I get up in the morning. There are windows we can open. Ask God to help you see them. Are you actively surrendering your life to God? Are you handing over control and trusting him with your heart? Worship songs are helpful here. Let them run through your head as you gaze upon his beauty in the quiet spaces.
May you be recharged by his Holy Spirit this week and know his life flowing through your veins. Blessings.