Today’s Readings: Psalm 51; Ezra 7:27-28, 8:21-36; Matthew 14:13-21; Revelation 15:1-8
As someone who is an extrovert, I draw a huge portion of energy from being around people. I feel most alive when I am meeting and interacting with others. While this can generally be a positive trait, I’ve learned over the years that it can also get me into trouble.
I find being around people so invigorating that I often do it too much and find myself completely drained to the depths of my soul. By just the fourth year of my ministry, I had given so much to others that I began to wonder if I could continue in parish ministry..
So how did I reverse that trend and find a way to continue in ministry?
I began to take seriously Jesus’ example in today’s passage from Matthew. In that passage we learned that when Jesus found himself completely exhausted from the demands around him, Jesus did something critically important: “he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself” (Matthew 14:13 from the NRSV).
The time I have learned to spend in silence over the past four years has become the thing that allowed me to continue in ministry. It allows me to recharge my battery and strengthen my connection with God. It is only then that I can find the energy I need to give a portion of myself to others.
So what role does silence and solitude play in your spiritual life? Are they annoying intruders that infrequently push their way into your life when you have nothing better to do; or are they some of your closest friends that keep you spiritually grounded?
Til next time…