From the moment we hear the ringing of our alarm clock to the minute our head hits the pillow at night we just go, go, go.
If we are lucky enough somewhere from the time of waking up to falling asleep we get a little break where we can stop for an hour and two and just breathe.
Set aside our technological devices with updates, emails, and social media sites that constantly need to be checked and do something that brings stillness in our heart and peace in our mind.
But for most people that is not the case.
The constant running has no end and eventually they find themselves burned out, tired, and worn.
Tired of meetings, of commitments, of the never-ending to do list.
And at this point when they have finally reached the end of themselves and their physical strength starts running thin what do most smart people do?
They book a vacation.
A place where they can relax for a week or two and for just a moment forget the cares of the world as they finally find the rest and renewal that they are searching for.
But over the years I have come to learn that the best place to find true rest is not lying on a sunny beach in Mexico but spending time in the sweet presence of God.
Not to diminish real vacations (those are very much needed) but what some people don’t realize is that they don’t need to look forward to finding rest on a vacation for one week that they wait all year long for because they can find that rest and peace in Jesus every single day.
Sometimes what we need most is not a getaway on a cruise with our loved ones but a getaway on our knees with Jesus.
Over the years I’ve also learned that just as it’s important to take an extended vacation to get physically rested, it’s just as important to take an extended retreat with Jesus to get spiritually rested.
A few years ago I was inspired by John Ortberg in his book The Life You’ve Always Wanted to have what I like to call “God Days” at least a few times a year.
This is a time where, just like as if you went on a vacation you choose to separate yourself from your typical daily routine and disconnect from the world around you so that you can connect with God.
Lucky for me living in the beautiful state of Washington this usually consists of grabbing my blanket, lunch, bible, books, journal, and heading over to a secluded park or beach for half a day or so and just spending some one on one time with Jesus with no wifi or people around to distract me.
The first time I did this I decided to go to Alki beach.
I took a day off from work and went there early in the morning and stayed during the day before it became crowded with people.
I turned my cell phone off, tuned the world out, and concentrated on God.
I spent that time reading my bible, reviewing notes from my books, writing down thoughts that were coming to mind in my journal, walking on the beach and praying, sitting by the water and meditating on God and what He was speaking to my heart… and at the end writing down my goals and insights that I received that day.
It was quite the experience.
Something that I will strive to continue doing for the rest of my life.
I left that day feeling refreshed and renewed in my goals and purpose in life as well as in my relationship with God- just like most people feel after a nice vacation.
It’s important to prepare yourself for this day before it happens.
Figure out what it is that you want to get out of your getaway with Jesus.
Are you at a pivotal point in your life and need guidance from God for a decision you want to make or the direction of where you should go?
Are you part of a ministry at church and want God to renew your purpose and vision within that ministry?
Do you have personal issues you’re struggling with and want God to help you figure out how to solve those issues?
Or maybe you just need renewal in your daily walk with God…
Whatever the purpose of your getaway may be it’s important to know what it is beforehand so you can already begin praying for it before that day even arrives.
By doing this you help prepare yourself to hear from God as He speaks to you about the specific areas of your life.
I know this idea may be new or different to some people but I think it’s something we should try to do in our life at least a few times a year.
Written below are a few guidelines and a schedule to follow (which I came across in a book) if you’re not sure what to do on that day. I don’t personally follow it, but it can give you a starting place if you need some ideas.
- Find a place where you can be uninterrupted and alone, such as a park or a retreat center.
- Spend a brief time the night before to get ready, to ask God to bless the day, and to tell him you want to devote the day to him. This day is your gift to God, but even more, it is a gift God wants to give you. What do you need from the Lord: a sense of healing and forgiveness? Conviction for an apathetic heart? Compassion? A renewed sense of mission? Ask him for this.
- Arrange the day around listening to God. The following format is adapted from Glandion Carney’s book The Spiritual Formation Toolkit.
I don’t know about you but I think I’m ready for a vacation.
It’s time for me to press pause on life and get away and have my “God Day” soon.
What I love about it is the fact that it is exactly what Jesus did when the walked this earth.
He had His own getaways with God.
Often times it was throughout the night near the mountainside. (Matthew 14:23)
Other times it was simply just somewhere off alone where no one was around to distract Him (Luke 4:42)
Jesus understood that it was vital for Him to spend time with God if He wanted to fulfill God’s plan for His life.
It was His habit to get away from the noise of the world so that He could listen to the voice that mattered most: the still small voice of His father.
He knew the importance of much-needed rest that came not from the world, but from God alone.
Today, if you are tired, if you are restless, if you are worn out maybe instead of adding one more item to your to do list and one more event to your schedule what you need to do is take something off that calendar of yours and replace it with some one-on-one time with Jesus? If not for a day then at least for an hour or two.
Your list can wait, but if you want to be refreshed and renewed your time with Jesus can’t.
Be like Him… and plan your getaway today.
You deserve a break from the busyness of this world.
Be blessed and take some time to rest with Jesus! Anna… ♥
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – Luke 4:16