Relearning some crucial lessons in the area of personal intimacy with Jesus.
I have a spirituality that is quite sufficient when I am home. The space from others and stable routine allows for a steady rhythm. But on the road, it is being stretched a bit. This raises a question.
Is it possible to have a “moveable feast” – a spirituality that deeply nourishes the soul day in and day out while on the road?
The easy answer is “yes.”
The hard reality is that I am finding it challenging to live into this of late.
I aim to maintain my morning patterns and sabbath day while on the road (see past posts on similar topics here and here). When those travel days begin to stack up though, fatigue begins to creep in and I my best intentions get stymied.
Here is an example. Let’s say that after a couple of weeks of being on the road engaging others, the emotional tank begins to get low. So when it comes to prayer in the morning, I find I am staring off into space pondering I am not sure what. Prayer is an interpersonal engagement after all. After days of tending to others, I begin to struggle in my attention toward God.
Here is the catch though. Jesus is my life, my strength, my bread, my water, my everything. He is all I have to give to another. Sure, his mercy is enough when I am less engaged with him on some days. But, frankly, it bugs me. I don’t want to be less engaged with him when I am on the road, but rather more engaged. I need him.
Trial and Error
Here is where a nice punch line would be given – the answer to the quandary at hand.
I don’t have one though. I wrestling on this topic.
Here are some questions I am pondering?
- Is my schedule too compressed? Not enough space between events so that I can recover from the previous event and be replenished sufficiently for the next?
- What about those times when “life happens” and there is no option? Is there something else I can do to allow for more time on the margins of the day?
- Is this just a liability of my vocation? Or is there another way to walk with God in this vocation?
- What about those longer multi-week international trips – how does one stay intimately abiding as the days pass?
- Other…….I am still pondering…..
These questions remind me that what was “sufficient” earlier in my life is no longer sufficient now. God is beckoning me deeper, something has to change for me to respond well. A parent of little ones could, possibly, ask different questions.
The Goal: A Moveable Feast
Not getting tired in the care of others is unrealistic. We all tire. Yet spiritual vibrancy is not an unrealistic pursuit. I have experienced it in the past over many years in many countries and many demanding scenarios.
I aim for a moveable feast – a transportable rhythm that allows for me to respond to Jesus moving toward me daily.
If this were a simple formula to live out, I guess it would not require fresh engagement with the Lord to discern a new way forward.The Lord invites me to converse with him and see what fresh perspective he will provide. After all, my desire for him is not a self-born desire. It is his desire for me drawing me toward himself.
How would he have me respond in the next chapter of life?
As always, I’d love to hear what you are learning on this topic. Thanks for chiming in.