Taking a break can be refreshing in so many ways, especially during stressed, discouraging, or tiring times. Even enforced breaks, such as my recent blogging break was! What else could I do with no internet service?
Often on our ministry trips we’re without internet connections, and in more remote areas even phone reception! But we’ve learned that the enforced slowing down that comes with this helps us reflect and remember the important things in life. And we always return refreshed, restored, and with new vision. (Yet it can also be frustrating!)
Which reminded me of another impromptu break we once took.
I remember feeling discouraged about our work here. Wondering if anyone even listens or if we’re making any difference at all.
Discouragement makes for an insidious enemy. One which I’m sure sneaks up on you too. For it doesn’t seem too particular about who it visits. It treats us all equally.
Well, we went down to the city that day for things we can’t find in our area. And upon returning home, we took a relaxed stroll through the village, stopping off for pizza and a glass of wine.
And it reminded me that we often touch lives in ways we’re unaware of.
They had a going away party that evening for a woman with whom Hubby had worked (teaching preschool English), who was getting transferred. She stopped by our table to say goodbye. And to tell us that she would never forget us.
No, perhaps we don’t seem to make much progress here in helping others see God’s goodness. Perhaps we will never see our seeds germinate, take root, or ripen for harvest. And perhaps your efforts at touching lives for him don’t seem to matter either.
But that incident reminded me that if we’re faithful to point the way to the Lord of the harvest, he will keep our planted seeds incubating. Others will remember, not only our words and kindness, but also the One we’ve pointed them to.
Over-focusing on our problems only makes them seem bigger. Some problems really are huge and extremely difficult, and I don’t want to minimize them. But even so, over-focusing often makes them seem even greater.
So when feeling overwhelmed, let’s not forget the value of taking a break.
Maybe you can’t go out for dinner, but do something else. Take a walk. Sit outside with a cup of tea or coffee. Visit a friend or go window shopping. Get out into the wider world. Because that can help us see that our life and world are really quite small in the bigger picture of life.
Problems come and problems go. But if in the midst of them, we make time to get away and reflect, the Lord can renew our vision, focus, and energy. Reminding us that he is always greater and always with us.