Taking the Time To Shed the Socks and Shoes of Worry and Scurry

We're back now from our "experiment" to spend some time on the east coast. While there, we based out of Holden Beach and traveled with our ministry speaking to churches, organizations and leading retreats. We had some much needed time off and it was in the time off that insights, epiphanies and dare I say, revelations came to us.  I want to share with you some of these insights because I feel they will be valuable for you as you read The Jesus Life and focus on establishing a healthy rhythm for your own life.Lesson #1:Coming down takes time.Just as it takes time for us to get wound up; to speed up to 5th gear living; to run our lives on empty--it also takes time to wind down--to "come down" where we ought to be, as the Quakers say in their beautiful song, "Tis, a Gift to Be Simple." No one shifts into 5th gear in an instant. You rev the engine up and just the opposite is true. To slow down, it takes time. There's no substitute for it. It takes time to come down where we ought to be.  Only time ministers to the soul in a way that nothing else can ever do. To scoot pass this invaluable lesson is to by-pass the secret of entering the rest we need.We rush and cram in our vacations and think we are taking "time off" but sometimes--perhaps even often, taking the time off makes us feel guilty, shameful and it's actually hard for many of us to take time off.  Let's face it--do you even know how to take a vacation that your body longs for and your soul  is thirsty for right now? Would you cram into too much fun; too much adventure and return even more exhausted?  Many of us do this.  I'm convinced that many parents today are setting their children up for disaster because the parents themselves can't really learn to live in a rhythm of grace. We do. We do too much. We do too much in our one week away.During our experiment, Gwen and I sat at the ocean for two weeks and and during the first week, our heads were still spinning at the speed of life we were moving in--which was too fast. Sitting on the beach; watching the waves and being quiet  helped us de-tox from the speed of our lives. But what's important is this: it took us 2 weeks to have a decent thought about this. It took time to un-clutter our heads and allow our hearts to resurface. For the first week, we were so deeply bone tired that we couldn't think clear. The second week, we felt ourselves coming back to life. It took a full, whole and other week for us to regain the vital connection we had lost in our hearts and with each other.It is enough to make you re-think a one week vacation...or even taking one or two days off. What good will they really do if you don't invest enough time to enter the true rest you really need.It takes time to shed the socks and shoes of worry and scurry. It takes time.  And if you don't take the time, you'll still be wearing the smelly socks of preoccupation, day dreaming, feeling quilty, living in the shame of taking time off altogether!As you plan your vacation here are some things to keep in mind and some questions to ponder: 1. How much time would you like to take off from your work and every day routine?  How much do you need? How much can you take?  What do you feel when these questions stare at you right now?2. Is it possible to have a buffer day before you go and leave and another buffer day when you return so that you're being nice to yourself and giving yourself some transition time--time to unpack. Time to take it easy rather than rush, rush, rush and hurry, hurry, hurry so you can finally relax.3. What lessons might Americans learn from the European brothers and sisters who take an entire month off?  Is that even possible?4. What would it look like for you to be able to shed the socks and shoes of hurry and scurry?