It seems I’ve spent a great deal of time in 2021 on a path of renewal.
In June, my blog called Filling the Tank was about renewing our relationships after many months of social distancing. If you missed it, you can read that one by clicking HERE.
Then in the July post on Finding the “Write” Path, I revealed my own writing journey and the renewed vision of what I need to do after identifying writing as my gift and teaching as my calling. If you like, you can revisit that post HERE.
In September, my post, actually called “Renewal” looked at simple life experiences such as a walk in the woods that served to breathe new life into my being. That post is HERE.
You would think that topic would be exhausted. Not so.
Renewal is a day-by-day activity.
Renewal is a choice. It is intentional.
If you are like me, you keep a to-do list. I often prioritize my list. But when my list grows long and I can’t complete everything, I move items to the next day. Sometimes, those things keep getting moved and never completed. I’ve often shared this gem, “The things we leave undone make us tired.”
Tired does NOT in any way, shape, or form build a sense of renewal.
But our lives are busy. We have so much to do and so little time.
I recently reread the account of Martha and Mary when Jesus comes to their home. Martha busied herself preparing food and serving. After all, she had company. Big time company. Everything needed to be just so. Right? I get it. She had a to-do list and felt overwhelmed. I’ve been there.
What is her sister doing? Not helping her, that’s for sure. Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to his every word.
Martha goes to Jesus and says, “Hey Jesus, come on. Tell Mary to help me.” Well, maybe not exactly like that, but you get the idea.
Jesus doesn’t do it. Instead, he explains to Martha that Mary is doing exactly what she should be doing. And he basically tells Martha that she is distracted and worried and troubled. Not what you want to hear from Jesus. You can read the whole story for yourself in the Book of Luke, Chapter 10. It’s in verses 38-42.
We call it prioritizing. But we aren’t always good at it. We often place “things we need to do” over “relationships we need to build.”
Like Martha we get caught in the day-to-day stuff. We tell ourselves we’ll take time later for a little relaxation and renewal when we check all the boxes on our list. Those things that really matter and give us strength and energy get moved to the next day’s list of chores along with the ironing. (Not the best example since I probably only iron once in a blue moon, but you get my drift.)
So what can you…uh…we do about it? Here is a rather radical idea I gleaned from someone a long time ago.
Look at your to-do list. Cut one item from it. Make an appointment with yourself for that time slot and play. Yes, I said P-L-A-Y. Not a computer game.
Splash in the water.
Build an obstacle course with the pillows and cushions from the couch for you and the kids.
Stand on your head.
Have a paper airplane contest with your spouse or a friend.
Sing at the top of your lungs.
Laugh out loud.
Trust me, these work. I’ve done every one of them at some point in time.
Above all, thank God for the gift of play. Ask him to renew your spirit day-by-day.