The reasons for my absence from blogging (if anyone noticed) is really a short list. I’ve spent the last few months finishing up a writing project. In March 2016, I will publish my newest book “Habits for Our Holiness,” which is a missional view of spiritual disciplines. I was in the final stretch and then did some quick revisions for my publisher as we entered into the summer. The work took up most of my creative thought. Also, it was summer. My sons were finishing up the school year and our family always has a busy summer. I did not want to pile up writing posts on top of writing sermons, finishing the book, and other things in the evenings. Thirdly, I was just tired of the extra writing work. Blogging takes time to gather, create, and post. Though it can be just a stream of consciousness, it deserves a bit more intentional planning. Plus, I had a visit to the doctor who put me on blood pressure medicine. Given my medical history, a pause was in order.
Life offers you seasons in which give you permission to pause some activities. In some instances, you can pause everything at once; for a vacation or a sabbatical. As I was finishing my book, the chapter that continuously stuck in my mind was about the discipline of rest. It is one that I do not have much of a habit for practicing. Over the last years, it is easy to reflect that I have a penchant for saying “yes” to lots of activities. For most, they are the calling on my life; full-time work at LifeWay, bivocational ministry at The Fellowship, teaching periodically for Houston Baptist University, writing, and mission trips. But, it all piles up to a life that can move at an unsustainable pace. So, I’m learning to give myself permission to pause.
Our family is back into the swing of school. Chris has begun his senior year of high school. Andrew will begin his sophomore year of college in a week. Angie and I are watching it all move by at such a quick pace. So, the Spirit has convicted me again of an important principle. My identity is not found in how much I achieve in this life. My worth was secured by Jesus by a bloody cross and an empty tomb. So, remember that when the pace gets overwhelming, you have permission to pause.