9 things I learnt over the summer

I think if I could summarize my summer I’d say it was all about going back to basics. As everything quietened down I felt God beckoning me back to the simple truth of loving Him and loving others. Many of the things I learnt or processed weren’t rocket-science but rather a gentle reminder of what’s important. And what isn’t. So, in no particular order, here’s 9 of the things I learnt, processed, or re-learnt this summer.

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Rest – recovery or restoration

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We live in a world that moves at quite a pace – we have a ‘fast lane’ and a ‘fast track’, a production line – when you are not working hard to get ahead or stay ahead people are ‘letting off steam’ or ‘letting their hair down’ – I’ve never done that one with my shiny pelt!!!

With a young family and a job aswell as a desire to have a healthy relationship with Jesus and Anna there is a lot going on in life at the moment!!!

When there’s a moment of downtime I sometimes just want to zone out – so much of the day is busy, full, structured and involves multiple people that even I – an extreme extrovert who loves people and conversation – just wants to ‘rest’ – for rest read disappear into the numbness of the TV!!! I have learnt over time that this temporary feeling of ‘aahhhhhhhh’ is never long lasting, edifying or deep.

Over the years I have begun to see the difference between recovery and restoration.

Both recovery and restoration work on an emotional, physical and spiritual level.

Recovery is the first move away from work. If you think of a pendulum with ‘work’ on one side and ‘rest’ on the other I see recovery as the pendulum swinging away from work towards rest.   I have learnt that I need some time to look at the BBC sport website or sky sports news, to sit and drink coffee and read the paper, to watch a TV programme – to just be still. This is my recovery but God has more for me.

God wants to restore me.

Restoration is where we, on a spiritual level, connect with God. We discover who we are in God – a walk, reading my bible, reflecting on what I am thankful for, soaking to worship music, prayer & reflection. This takes me beyond recovery. It is not just the absence of anything being given out but it is allowing God to put back in! We are restored – our soul, spirit, heart, head, body. We are ‘made new’ and made ourselves all over again.

It is this process (as the pendulum peaks and then starts to swing back to work) that helps me to walk and to fulfil all God has for me.

Too many people just recover and then start again (I am guilty of this many times – I am a ‘work in progress’!!) – if you just stop the giving out temporarily and then start again there isn’t anything there to start giving again. As you set a pace and rhythm to your life make sure you are restored by God as well as recovered from work.

posted by Rich