Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We all need to get away

This month has been very special for me and the main thing is that my church is letting me take some time for Spiritual Refreshment!  I've heard the questions from people and even had a student ask me if I am taking six months off; the answer is no and I will be back on Sunday (which makes me excited).  I love my church but we all need to get away every now and then!

Last week I took a few days to head to Brian Head, Utah to get away with myself, a few book, my Bible and some food.  Some amazing friends from church let me borrow their condo and I just had a chance to spend some in-depth, alone time, with God.  The scenery up there is beautiful and the second day I was there it was pretty much overcast all day.  I left my snowboard at home to make sure that I took all the time I could to seek God out more. 

I have been reading in the Gospels (Mark 1:35 and 6:46) how Jesus took time away to just connect with God.  It has been hitting me more and more that I need to get back to that.

While I was away I just relaxed the first night to slow down some more.  The second day I was there I really was intentional in reading my Bible, listening to God and finished reading Emotionally Healthy Spiritually by Peter Scazzero.  The book has been extremely helpful to me and all that has gone on in my life in the last ten years (yep I am admitting that I am imperfect pastor who has junk in his life).  The other day a trusted leader stopped me mid-sentence and said "Neal, do you realize how much you have been through in the last 10 years?"  I think we all need to get away to remember where God has taken us and where God is leading us.

The final day the weather began to get nasty but I knew God wasn't done with me up there in the mountains.  I stayed for a while, read some more, spoke with God some more and took more time to relax.  I didn't want to rush out and miss what God wanted to do in my life.  See I know that God is working on Neal Benson right now and that is tough to square with.  We live in a culture, especially Vegas, where you are encouraged to have it all together.  The truth is that none of us have it together and I am going to be the first to admit it so you can feel comfortable admitting that when you're ready.

We live in a culture that radically needs to figure out how to slow down and take the time to spend with Jesus.  Three I have learned that everyone can do are:
1. Turn your phone off
This is something that can be difficult but every time I turn my phone off for 24 hours I feel better.  I feel the burden of life slow down and it allows me to focus on what matters most in my life. 
2. Take a day off
There is no way you can maintain the pace of life that the world asks of you without doing this.  I find it crazy that we are committed to 9 of the 10 commandments but are so easy to disregard the Sabbath (myself included).
3. Get away when you can
I know its not always possible to get away and put life on hold for 24-72 hours but can I encourage you to find times in your schedule to get away and hear the voice of God?  I can assure you that He wants to speak to you as bad as you would like to hear His voice.

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