Monday, June 05, 2006

Time For Your Next Spiritual Retreat?

Time for your next spiritual retreat?
by Jane Rubietta

The Resting PlaceI don’t want to lead the sheep astray by forgetting my resting place. And I don’t want to forfeit God’s calling because I have chosen to run the wrong race, run the race without more than a glance at Jesus’ face.

Jane Rubietta, author of
The Resting Place

“Run the race with perseverance.” What an axiom for professionals, summed up by years in seminary and official ministry. Run, and keep running. Sure, run the right race. But run.

The perseverance part makes sense with such a life motto: Never give up. Winston Churchill would be proud of all of us in ministry.

Maybe. But even runners can’t run incessantly. They need rest stops, food stations, and medics to care for shin splints and blisters.

As runners say, it didn’t take long in the pastorate for us to bonk. To hit the ministry wall, the wall of impossibilities, and crash into our inabilities and disabilities. I wasn’t who I thought I was, ministry wasn’t what I envisioned, and God certainly wasn’t who I expected. What a mercy that turned out to be as I examined my soul fatigue.

Symptoms of soul fatigue
My idol was myself: I’ll do it. I can take care of it. Let me help. But I couldn’t. I moved into such depression and incapacity that all I could do was crawl away, alone, and ask God who he really was.

You need a resting place if these symptoms crop up in your life and ministry:

  • Burnout
  • Trigger temper
  • Irrational thinking
  • Lack of joy or laughter
  • Loss of focus
  • Chronic headaches or other pain
  • Hyper-controlling of others
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Resentment
  • Unforgiveness
  • Giving in to temptation
  • Lack of feelings
  • Loss of passion
  • Inability to love your family
  • Judgmentalism
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