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April 27, 2018

 

Hi Everyone

 

You’ve all heard me say we need to slow down, and it’s true, at least for most of us.  I can’t think of many things that are truer, or more important.  The pace we live on the outside often reflects the internal pace that drives us.  Yet it isn’t the pace that is the greater stressor, the greater stress is birthed out of not having enough margin in our lives to be able to play or even truly rest from our work.  When we are out of balance we diminish our ability to remain in the present.  That is when we miss the peace and stable rhythm that God longs for us to have.  The truth is that having a lot to do isn’t necessarily a problem at all.  A full and vibrant occupation that really engages us is actually a very healthy, valuable thing.  

 

The problem comes when our occupation becomes our preoccupation.  

 

God exhorts us in his word to not be lazy, but to be diligent, responsible, and hardworking, and the word also commands a day of rest each week, and God also made it clear that his people were to participate in celebrations and feasts scattered throughout the year to teach us how to play well, and do it together!  He leads us into healthy balance.  In 21st century America, many believe that hard work is undesirable, so it has become a popular notion that work should be more playful or that we should simply slowdown in our work so that we do our work at a restful pace.  I find this to not be what God has created us to be and therefore do.  Col 3:23 says: In whatever you do, do your work heartily (with all your heart) as for the Lord, rather than for man… Jesus said the first command was for us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind.  We were designed to be worshipers!  It’s who we all really are.  God designed us to find our deepest identity in being his beloved child, and until we settle that critical ownership issue, we will forever struggle to know who we are and try to find our value in some aspect of what we do.  Yet if we surrender to that immense love, we find we don’t need to strive for the identity God has already given us!  We can’t earn it by working harder, we can’t prove it by being more “spiritual” or praying more.  It’s who we are at the core of our being.

 

We must learn to DO out of our BE-ing.  I’m not just writing this to fellow recovering workaholics, but to all of us who find our identity in our occupations, or our preoccupations…whether it’s a paid position or not.  The key to keeping our life healthy is not about “taking it easy” or being more playful at work, but about learning to live in healthy rhythm of:  Work – Rest – Play – Repeat x infinity.

 

When we are in healthy rhythm, we are fully engaged in our work – when we’re working.  When we’re balanced, we become passionate and creative in our work, and our work becomes something that honors and glorifies God. And when it’s time to rest we fully engage in rest.  We stop taking work home with us and we truly cease from our labor. We don’t just fill up the time with intense activity, but we take time to slow our busy minds and bodies down and reflect on what God is teaching us, and what he has to say to us.  Then we will be fully alive in our play.  We find creative outlets of expression and have fun doing it when we do it from a place of rest and knowing who we are.  When we are in established, stable rhythm we will increasingly be ready for each beat of the rhythm at the time when it is needed.  One of our greatest challenges as a culture is that many, if not most of us have been so far out of rhythm for so long that it might take quite a long season of being in rhythm before we are able to be in sync with our own needs. 

 

When we’re out of sync with our real needs we tend to overemphasize one of the “beats” of the rhythm more than the others, seeking to find our identity in that area, and all the areas suffer. The problem isn’t the work, or the rest, or the play, but our making any of them into an idol.  That happens whenever we depend on something to give us the love and identity that God alone can really give us.  As followers of Christ we become double-minded in all our ways, trying desperately to serve two masters, The Lord and our preoccupations.  Yet underneath it all we are more valuable than we realize.  So as we head into summer take a moment to reflect…  Are you passionate about your work?  Do you make time to actually rest, and do you feel rested after you “rest”?  Is your play creative, and is it expressive of who you really are?  How will you plan to maintain a healthy balance of Work – Rest – Play in these coming months?  

 

God bless you to be all that you were made to be, so you can do all you were made to do!!

 

Mike     

                                                             

VCPC Weekly

Sundays – Intercessory Prayer – 9 am – Church Library
Thursdays– Intercessory Prayer – 11 am – Church Library – Request? Email 
prayerline@vineyardplaincity.com 

or call/text (614) 499-1232

Thursdays – GriefShare – 6-8 pm – Rm 110

Events to Note:

Saturday, April 28th – DNA Community Meal – 4:15-7pm

Sunday, April 29th – 10:30 am – Congregational Financial Meeting – Jeff will share the annual financial report of VCPC. It will only take about 5-10 minutes of the service.

Wednesday, May 2nd – Friday, May 4th – 2018 Women’s Conference – Vineyard Columbus – Register online by April 29th – or at the door

Sunday, May 13th – Mother’s Day

Friday, May 18th – Ladies Night at VCPC – 6:30 pm – we are trying to make sure childcare is available

June 18th – July 13th – DNA Summer Lunch Program 10:30-1 pm – they are looking for lunch prep teams, summer interns, and adult volunteers – visit dnaplaincity.org