Odds are you’re quite busy. It’s 2017 and smartphones are ubiquitous, office hours are passe, and quality rest is reserved for stress-free, sleep-trained babies. The tongue-in-cheek phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” reveals (even if flippantly) a common-place perspective: if you’re busy you’re living.
Have you asked someone “How ya doin’?” lately and received this badge-of-honor response:”Whew, man….Things are busy.”? It’s an answer I’ve gotten and given.
It’s one part truth, another part pride. “I’m busy” is a two-word attempt to communicate that I’m important and I’m really living.
And I’m kind of right. Work, family, friendship, and free-time obligations fill life to the brim. We’re certainly alive while we work, engage with family, build and enjoy friendship, and explore our hobbies.
We’re alive. But are we living?
These are not questions solely for you. They are direct quotes from my recently-taken notes. I scribbled the words while in the mountains on a three-day spiritual experience with some other brothers. (www.roguejourney.org) On day one, an older fella slowly read these words…
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
That guy–Dale– led us in lectio divina, an ancient practice of listening to Jesus while reading his Scriptures. And instantly God highlighted three words for me: recover your life.
I wasn’t lost. I wasn’t aimlessly adrift at sea. I wasn’t broken beyond repair. I wasn’t the recovery type, I thought.
But was I living?
The question rattled around until a lackluster answer surfaced. I am living. Sort of. Glimpses of goodness and moments of meaning dot my past, but I’ve long been in a hamster-wheel existence. Spinning. Running. Going. Then hitting the pillow exhausted having traveled not very far.
Recover your life echoed in my head.
Ironically, this recovery message came when I finally stopped. Or that’s when I heard it, at least. Three solid days of focused listening, blocks of silence, and no leadership responsibility helped me attend to the King and catch Wind of what it would be like to walk with him and then work with him.
Recover your life bounced into my soul.
What if life–real life–was found in the simplicity of silence and the practice of listening? What if real life is making our first priority hearing the prompting of God? Is that possible?
I’m about to find out. With a new band of brothers–Coach, Old Soul, Stallion, and MJ–I’m going to listen, write, and Jump. Who knows what the life I will recover might look like. And who cares. Sitting with the King is recovery enough.
What gives you life? When did you need a recovery? How does silence, solitude, listening, and leisure fuel your real life? I’d love to hear.