Love to pray. Feel often during the day the need for prayer, and take the trouble to pray. Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive him and keep him as your own.
- From A Gift for God by Mother Teresa
Posts Tagged ‘spiritual disciplines’
One of the blessings to being a teacher is that we get a few weeks off each summer to recover, renew, and recharge for the coming school year. Some years (like this past one), I need that to be ready for the next school year.
Some summers I have kept working and being involved in a variety of good projects. This summer, I am dialing down quite a bit and taking a mini-sabbatical for two months to develop some projects that need attention and resuscitation. I will also reengage some long-rusty spiritual disciplines to renew my relationship with Jesus Christ and will dig into some books that comprise my towering “need to read” stack.
Every now and then I develop some exercises to help other leaders develop their self-awareness and I like to share them on here for you to use. A few months ago I offered one called Nurturing Your Sphere of Influence that helped me take intentional steps to nurture others (a key leadership skill I look for) around me. So many times we miss opportunities to help those with whom we work, lead, teach, meet, counsel, and even live to grow to their potential. And that exercise was helpful for others, too, based on the response I received.
Lately, perhaps it’s just the effects of the last weeks of a very cold winter, I’ve been listening to leaders who feel s.p.e.n.t. They are drained, easily frazzled, and therefore question their abilities even though they are highly gifted. I do think this is a seasonal reality for those of us (e.g. youth pastors, teachers) who work within a ‘school schedule’ where the end of the year is May or June in the northern hemisphere. But I also think there are some patterns that driven and gifted people enact that hurt them.
Like most of the world, I was captivated by the rescue of the Chilean miners. Those final three days before the probe reached them had to be desperate as the food finally ran out and hope faded as their bodies decayed more rapidly. Trapped a half mile below the surface, they faced their mortality and, at least for a few days, saw their lives quite differently.
Some of the miners spoke of new commitments to family, to God, and to being a better person. As they came out of the depths, their love of light and life was evident. I’m curious to read more about these men, what they went through, and the difference the experienced made in their outlook on life.
This summer one of my own kids came back from an amusement park announcing his/her victory over the fear of roller coasters. The outcome? Hands-free on the Millennium Force . Before I continue, why don’t you give it a try. Watch the YouTube POV of that roller coaster and do so with your hands-up. And, if you’re in a coffee shop, please post a picture of you doing this.