“The Lord has brought me into a delightful wide open space!” (Psalm 18:19)
Remember those lazy days of summer as a child? The anticipation of playing in the refreshing neighborhood pool with friends, lingering long over an ice cream cone and family vacation at a beautiful Northern Michigan lake are all memories that I relish.
My soul was fed during those childhood summers. Now, as an adult ministry leader, I find myself longing for much of the same.
- Unhurried savoring.
- Pressure free days from the unending demands of caring for people.
- Space to discover what my soul truly desires.
- Different places with a different pace.
- Being real about how I need to be cared for and loved by my Heavenly Father and then letting Him do it!
Summertime invites us to a healing rhythm if we will respond. Heal and detach from the performance track and expectations that we labor under. Healing that goes deep. The harshness of Winter and new growth of Spring are behind us. Now is the time to relish and savor His goodness. Rest and enjoy Him.
As we reflect in the slowness that summer offers and take a long, loving look at what is real in our lives, we may discover this--
“Sooner or later pastors and ministry leaders reach a place where they realize their natural gifts and abilities aren’t going to carry them where they need to go in their leadership. They may be aware that they are dangerously tired or running on empty but have no idea what to do about it. Or maybe they have been leading primarily from the demands of their own egos, rather than a deep centeredness in God.
Many of us enter into leadership believing our gifts, skills, and training are what the Kingdom needs. While all of these are important, something far more significant is needed if we are to be effective and fruitful for the long haul of leadership.” (Ruth Haley Barton)
What is needed is a fresh touch from the Father, found in the Secret Place of intimacy with Him. Freely receive a renewed sense of your belovedness from Him. He doesn’t want your service or commitment. He wants your love, time, attention. Be accepted and delighted in.... in the stillness of sitting with God.
Let this Summer be a season of molting and transformation for you! Molting is a renewal time for ducks, the shedding of old feathers, making way for new growth. During this approximately 6 week season, the duck cannot fly. And ducks are perfectly content with little activity! They freely receive this time of shedding old feathers, letting new ones grow for the next season of flight.
This idea of tending to our own souls and walking a path of transformation is more important than any ministry skill we might possess.
Could this fact alone make the way you know and tend the contents of your soul the most important aspect of your summer and ultimately your leadership? I believe so! Have a great one!