An Invitation To Godspeed: Finding Jesus’ Rhythms Of Work & Rest
“If Satan cannot tempt you to sin, he will cause you to be busy. The effect upon your soul is exactly the same.” –Unknown
Director Of Development, Vineyard Pilgrimage
Several months ago, I came across something Dallas Willard said to a room full of pastors and leaders not long before he died. He said,
“The greatest gift you can give your congregation is your own intimate love relationship with Jesus.”
It wasn’t revelatory, nothing new, but it touched something deep inside me. I wrote it down and fell into the habit of reciting it aloud to myself each morning in the parking lot on my way into church. Walking slowly from the car to the door, I’d imagine Jesus beside me, his arm resting gently about my shoulders, saying, “Mark, the greatest gift you can give your staff, your congregation, your family and yourself today is your own, intimate, love relationship with me.” And then, as I opened the door, I’d often hear him whisper, “Come away with me.”
This simple, daily encounter with Jesus is one of the ways he’s teaching me to live at Godspeed.
It started, for me, a little over four years ago. Broken, exhausted and, probably, clinically depressed, I evaluated my thirty plus years of ministry heartbreak and disappointment, high highs and low lows, and what I saw, as I looked in the mirror, was a driven pastor caught in an endless, frenetic loop: intense activity followed by exhaustion, depression, withdrawal, despair, partial recovery, reentry, repeat. In truth, I lived in a mostly empty place most of the time — never full, content, or satisfied. Any sense of worth I might have had teetered precariously on the changeable nature of my circumstances. When things were good, they were never good enough. When they were bad, I felt like a failure. I was barely holding on. That’s when I asked God the question that had been hovering for some time just below the surface of my conscious mind: “Is this what you died for? Is this really all there is?”
When I started challenging the status quo in my own life, that’s when my journey with Jesus began! Questions about my health, pace, goals, expectations, my daily rhythms and routine, the expectations of others — I started questioning and examining everything! And I realized, painfully, that my ministry, my external, doing life, had far outstripped my intimacy with God, my interior, being life. I was completely out of balance, trying, day after day, to shoot a canon out of a canoe! As one wrote,
“If Satan cannot tempt you to sin, he will cause you to be busy.
The effect upon your soul is exactly the same.”
My soul was crying out for change. As a result, I got off the performance treadmill and adopted a whole new way of life. Since then, I’ve been learning what it means to live in rhythm with Jesus. Learning, I said. I’m in no hurry. For the first time in my life, I’m actually enjoying the ride.
Lately, I’ve been repeating this prayer and, in the process of repetition, it’s become something of a heart cry.
With all of my heart…
I choose an unhurried life
I choose the road less traveled
I choose to walk with you in the cool of the day
I choose to float on the unforced rhythms of your grace
I choose to live freely and lightly
I choose to be present in the present with the ever-present One I choose the easy yoke and the light burden
I choose the journey, not simply the destination
I choose to be with you, not simply do for you
I choose to be open, walk slowly and bow often
I choose to live at Godspeed.
I’d like to personally invite you to Godspeed: Finding Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest, April 11-13, 2019 in Overland Park, KS. More than just the Vineyard Pilgrimage launch party, we’ll spend two days aligning our hearts with the beating heart of the Holy Spirit inside us. Registration is now open at www.vineyardpilgrimage.org.
Together on the Journey,
Director of Development, Vineyard Pilgrimage
Godspeed: Finding Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest
April 11-13, 2019
Overland Park, KS