Time away provides margin.
It’s like the white space around the typed words on a paper. If we don’t leave some space, we can’t hardly make sense of what’s there. In our busy culture, we must take the bull by the horns and create that space with carefully planned breaks. I often think of something I heard once about life: If you don’t have to time to “look forward to it or reminisce about it” you’re too busy. I always want to find times to think about what’s coming up and celebrate what has happened.
Time away provides rhythm to life.
Creating a beat requires some alternating. On a drumset, these alternating sounds come from a combination of hitting the snare, kick or hi-hat at different times. The combination, for someone who can make it happen well, creates a smooth sounding rhythm. One of the things I have been learning in life is that time away from enhances creativity and clarity. One example of this is that for about 20 years, I have served on part-time staff in a local church and have traveled to serve in the wider church with Harvest Ministry. The rhythm of being connected, then traveling and coming back home again has been awesome and one of God’s blessings in life. Taking time away from the regular thing, much like a weekly Sabbath, keeps us grounded in a sacred rhythm.
Time away opens space for vision.
Vision isn’t invented, it’s discovered. God is always leading us forward, but too often, we’re looking down, too busy to notice. It’s not bad work that keeps us from experiencing the new vision, it’s the fullness of good work that fills every crevice of the heart and mind. I’ve learned in life that a lived out calling can prevent us from hearing God’s future call if we’re not careful. We can fall in love with the call more than the caller. Fresh vision comes from being totally focused on the caller – Jesus. Time away allows us to seek Jesus, thereby regaining his vision for our lives and work.
Time away reminds us of grace.
When a person serves in ministry, it’s easy to start thinking it depends on him or her. If asked, we would definitely say it’s God power at work, but we treat our calendars like success depends on us. Time away allows space for grace in our lives. God never sleeps. It’s always surprising how much happens when we are. It’s amazing what gets done when we aren’t there. It’s God’s way of saying, in your weakness I am strong. We experience grace when things keep going even when we’re taking a break. It’s a reminder that God grace is not and cannot be earned.
So, those are the four words that came to mind as I prepare to take a writing break. I’m praying for margin, rhythm, vision and grace. Praying for you too!
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