A recent note from Kent Jobe, a preacher in El Dorado, AR, got me thinking about spiritual matters and riding a bike. I am not sure how many of you like to bike ride, but I enjoy it. I do not do it near as much as I should or would like to. I grew up riding everything from a no speed to a 12 speed, a banana seat to a barely existent seat. Bike riding is a good way to clear the mind and to burn some calories. Flo and I purchased a stationary exercise bike a couple of years ago for that purpose. It does not get as much use as it should by me.
In Kent’s note on “Preacher Stuff” he wrote the following: “Not long ago, I found myself in a position where many ministers find themselves. I was working hard for God but not spending near enough time with God. For the most part, this went unnoticed by most if not all in the congregation. However, I was not satisfied and longed for a deeper commitment to God. My well was running dry. After some soul searching, I knew that one of the keys to growth for me in this area was accountability to another person. Therefore I created a “Spiritual Development Worksheet” to serve as a barometer as to my progress. I sought out another minister in town that was from a different religious group that I respected and I knew would hold my feet to the fire. Each week I sit down with my friend, we go over that week’s sheet and I give an account for the good and bad and we talk about ways to improve. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who is wanting to develop both their public and private world.”
As Christians, we can get so caught up in doing the “work” we believe God has set out for us to do that we lose sight of the relationship that God wants with each and every one of us as individuals. I personally believe this is not just an affliction for those “in the ministry” but for each and every one of us. I do agree that those in full time ministry are more apt to catch this affliction. I can speak to that from personal experience.
I want to ride my spiritual bike wherever God wants me to ride it and in order to do that I need to communicate more with Him. This communication is for me and not for me to use for some class or sermon. There is time for that but there also has to be “me and God” time. This is one reason I look forward to my time at Gander Brook before each Men’s Retreat. It is me, my Bible, a notebook and God. Jay Jarboe, my Spiritual Disciplines instructor at Sunset, often warned us to make sure we spend plenty of time with God alone to keep our wells filled.
Like I said before, I want to ride free not peddle like crazy and go nowhere. Time spent with God for our own development is just as important, if not more important, than time spent on lessons, etc… I would like to challenge all of you to spend more time with God this week than you did last week and more the week after than this week. I would challenge you to make time for God every day over the next month and you will be amazed at how your relationship with Him will strengthen and how much you will long for that time every day.
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