Very early in the morning while it was still very dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed - Mark 1:35 NIV
Many of you may not know that I served in the Army Reserves. After basic training, we had to have additional training to learn our job, or as it is known in the Army, your MOS (Military Occupational Specialty). Part of my training required me to learn how to drive a Jeep. I was terrified to say the least to learn that this was a part of graduation requirements. Unfortunately, I had never learned to drive a manual transmission growing up. The first day, I started grinding away at the clutch and I told myself that I would never learn to drive this Jeep and became frustrated. The next day, I'll never forgot one of my platoon members taking me aside and telling me that the key to learning how to effectively drive a manual transmission was to listen to the rhythm of the engine and it will tell you when to shift. Once I grasped that concept, it became easier for me to learn how to drive and I was able to graduate. I wonder how many of us men apply the concept that was explained to me in learning to drive a manual transmission to their lives?
All too often, many of us know how to operate at only one speed. We don't know how to effectively change gears in response to our life's rhythm. The result of the inability to learn how to properly shift gears is burnout. I have often discussed this with my wife and we try to make a conscious effort to learn to listen to our bodies and know when to downshift. Christ Himself knew the importance of this. In the scripture above, Christ had spent the previous day healing the sick and the demon-possessed. As a matter of fact, the whole town gathered where Jesus was staying and He healed many. The following morning, Jesus withdrew not only from the crowd, but His disciples as well. Jesus knew that in order to be at your best, you need time to refresh your spirit, mind and body. Doing this equips you to operate at an optimum level. We need to take what Christ did and incorporate it into our lives as well. We have to become disciplined enough in our lives to know when to withdraw from others and recharge our batteries. This may mean establishing a time to be alone to pray and reflect. Whatever that entails for you, it's vitally important that you start now.
ACTION PLAN: ESTABLISH A TIME WHERE YOU WITHDRAW TO PRAY AND REFLECT. DO THIS ON A CONSISTENT BASIS AND YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT THE RESULTS.
Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.