Hi everyone, Rob here.
It’s hot. This is the season of electric fans, humid and restless nights, sweat and the burning desire to jump in a swimming pool or a cool lake. But the holiday is over and work is at hand so it’s also a season of planning meetings, vision-casting and message preparation. Summer is glorious but it can also feel cruel. Let’s face it; ever since we stopped being kids and getting 6 week holidays summer has always been about unfulfilled desire. I’m talking about our desire for deep rest and restoration, for time and space to do what our heart tells us to do, for profound, unrushed connection with those we love.
Those sound like God-given desires to me and so I must also believe that God has provided the means to live out those desires – and not just during an all-too-brief summer holiday. Surely there must be a way to be refreshed and restored, to live a whole-hearted life and a life of love in our day-to-day working existence? I believe there is and I also believe that if we want it we’re going to have to fight for it.
The battle begins at the start of the day. I very seldom wake up and feel like I’ve had enough sleep. It’s easy to make an agreement that I’m still tired and don’t have the resources to tackle the day ahead. I’ve made that agreement in the past and the reality is that I’m a light sleeper and it is an issue. However, I’ve found enormous power and release by refusing to make an agreement with tiredness, choosing to believe that I’ve had enough sleep and that God will give me all the resources I need to do his will this day. It’s easy to forget to do this but when I remember it makes a significant difference to my day. I also take this time to pray, aligning my will with the will of Jesus and giving myself over to him. This is all before I get out of bed and I’ve found that I approach my day with a better attitude when I take the time to do it.
Another battle comes at work and choosing how to spend my day. I have too often spent excessive time on small things and left myself rushed for big things. I am seeking to overcome a lifetime of procrastination. Lists don’t help. I despise them and make very poor lists when I’ve tried. Again, it is prayer that helps. By taking a few minutes to give God my working day, prayerfully consult my diary, emails and calendar while paying attention to my heart, the day always ends up being more productive and fruitful than rushing in to unsurrendered activity.
A final battle is the time immediately after work, the time of family re-connection. It’s a time to listen, to help, to realign myself with the needs of the home, even it is just for a couple of hours before a meeting. I like to walk home or take a bike ride where I let go of the office and wake up to the beautiful hearts of my wife and children, knowing that it could be chaos!
I choose the word battle carefully. These are genuine moments of spiritual warfare where the alignment of our hearts matters greatly. The enemy would love to see us grumpy, resentful, small-minded, defensive and disenchanted. He wants to blind us to God’s presence with us every day and the kingdom life all around us. He wants us to be selfish and self-seeking. Taking the time to pray and give our hearts over to Jesus our King is time well spent. Our hearts need it as much as our bodies need food and water. My heart goes weak without this practice and I’m sure yours does too.
May you know the constant refreshment of the Holy Spirit, the peace and grace of Christ as you give him your life each day and the love of our Father filling you with joy this year.