Refreshing Or Distracting? Musings From Mark Fields
In this article, Mark Fields, Director of Vineyard Missions USA, asks if our activity is actually refreshing and renewing, or a means of distraction, and invites us to find true refreshing in stillness with God.
Director of Global & Intercultural Ministry, Vineyard USA
[Original Post By Vineyard Missions USA]
I understand something of the value of keeping a journal to the process of spiritual growth. It’s a place to record significant observations and meaningful verses, and it provides a wonderful opportunity to notice the patterns of God’s working in one’s life.
However, I have never been able to do it consistently. Littered around our house are a number of journals with a handful of entries on the first few pages followed by many empty pages. Each represents a new attempt to begin journaling marked by the purchase of the perfect new journal, but each is quickly abandoned.
Perhaps these weekly musings are the closest I have come to consistently journaling. I reflect deeply on my spiritual life, but struggle to put my observations in writing.
Recently I ran across my first journal dating back some fifteen years to when I initially began this journey of spiritual formation with its current level of commitment. I was emerging from a period of burnout — the result of being in a rigorous academic program while flying 150,000 miles a year helping to develop the Vineyard Movement around the globe.
I simply had more “going out” in ministry than I had “coming in,” and eventually, I ran dry. It was not a healthy time.
Recently, I read a few of my earliest journal entries. I realized I have grown more than a bit since then. What were then esoteric new names like Dorotheos of Gaza and Ignatius of Loyola have become familiar friends and trusted guides over the years. It was interesting to read my initial thoughts about what were, 15 years ago, startling new discoveries, but which have now become a normal part of my life and understanding.
One of those first discoveries was the realization that distraction is not refreshing, nor is it renewing — it does not refill me.
Mark Fields currently serves as the Director of Global & Intercultural Ministry for Vineyard USA. Prior to assuming his current position, he was the Senior Pastor of the Vineyard Community Church in Pomona, California, for more than twenty years. Mark is a lifelong learner and attended Fuller Seminary as well as the London School of Theology. He has traveled and ministered extensively around the world. Mark and his wife Karen have been married for nearly forty years, are the parents of three adult children, have a growing number of grandchildren, and reside in Southern California.