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Living in the country has a lot of pluses, but it can have a few negatives, too.  For instance, country life means you have to stay on top of caring for basic needs, equipment maintenance, back-up power, etc.  There aren’t as many services as in the city, and the services that are here are a miles apart.  This week our four-wheeler lost its “juice,” and we had to get a new battery and tune-up.  But that’s the price we pay for peace and beauty.

So what happened this week got me thinking about tune-ups.  It’s not just equipment that needs routine maintenance, human beings need it from the ground up, especially when it comes to our spiritual condition.  I can’t tell you how many people have told me they are burned out spiritually, they’ve lost their desire for Bible study or prayer, or they’ve convinced themselves (or someone has convinced them) they have nothing to offer to anyone.  I know what they mean.  For years I tried to do everything in my own power and burned up and out regularly.  The best “tune-up” I ever had was to get away, put the world on hold, and let God work through others called to  direct my steps.

“But I don’t have time for that!”  I’ve heard that from a lot of people — myself included.  There are specific Bible study retreats that deal with specific problems, then there’s general lay retreats.  There are also Christian renewal experiences like Walk to Emmaus, a cloistered weekend for those who desire a closer relationship with Christ. When I went on my own Walk, I tried to talk myself out of going until the last minute.  I’m glad I pushed through – words can’t describe that weekend!

Take care of your spiritual condition.  None of us are good to anyone if we are burned out and burned up.  God meets us where we are.

Psalm 23         The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.   He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Tagged: Bible study, Emmaus, retreats, spiritual condition, taking care of spiritual condition

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