Above It All
I took some time to pray a few months back on New Year’s Eve and walked on the beach in East Hampton where we were staying with friends. It’s become a tradition for us to give each other a little time aside as we close out each year. Moments to pray, focus our hearts, and hear from the Holy Spirit for the year ahead.
As I came over a sand dune I saw a lifeguard’s chair on the beach and felt prompted to walk in that direction. As I got closer I felt drawn to climb up there, even though it was very cold and the wind was blowing. The moment I did I heard Him say, “This is your year to get above it all”.
“This is your year to get above it all”
In the summer time that little beach can get noisy and crowded. But a lifeguard needs to be focused on those in the water, so they sit up high… above it all. It’s a skill I still need to master.
I need to get above the noise, and so do you.
Life and leadership are noisy. I have four kids (and I wouldn’t change that for anything!). Andi & I pastor a growing church with four local church communities, and four more being planted in the next year. My mother needs miraculous healing from a brain tumor. Frankly, just living in New York City often creates a lot of noise – literally, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. And then there’s all the internal noise… comparison, stress, self-talk, fears, the buzz of ideas, on and on.
What do you do to get above it all?
Here’s my current rhythm…
There’s no doubt the simple joy of spending time with Jesus every day is my foundation. Some days it’s more discipline than devotion, but in it’s own way, that’s devotion too. I read my bible, I journal, and pray out loud or in writing. I get my eyes on Him again.
One thing I have never struggled to value is time to get away with our family, and sometimes just Andi & I. As a younger leader I used to take the whole first week to unwind and detach from work. Not these days! On our last vacation I had already forgotten what day of the week it was after one day (and it was Sunday, sorry-not-sorry team).
This has not come as easily. I’ve tended to think of Saturdays as a family day, and Mondays as a day to catch up on personal and household tasks. While I typically don’t do “church work” I can just as easily find myself in front of a to-do list, and get my sense of accomplishment from what was checked off the list. Yet Jesus said Sabbath was made for man (Mk2:27) and enjoying rest is part of his design for us.
Keeping Short Accounts
The noise multiplies quickly if I allow hurt, sin, fear, anxiety or other things to go unaddressed in my life. I thank God that Andi has grace for my verbal processing. One of the ways I declutter my life constantly is to process with her (and a handful of others) whatever is pressing on my soul.
If I lose sight of God’s vision for my life, I quickly succumb to the noise. Vision calls me up to a higher place. Vision draws my eye to the horizon. It floods my life with light. And it gives me hope, sometimes in spite of today’s data.
There are a few things that I really enjoy… like good food (especially trying new things)… movies… sleeping in (the rarest of treasures)… getting hooked on a series on netflix for late night irresponsible binge-watching with Andi.
I’m blessed to have a handful of friends that are there in a heartbeat if I get swamped. Sometimes it feels like life hits you from every direction. Last weekend was one of those moments for me. Thank God for friends (and to be to honest, that I’ve been intentional about investing in friendship in recent years).
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps46:10
So what do you do (or need to do) to get above it all?
I’d love your comments…