Stop and Let Your Soul Breathe

Do you remember that moment?

Do you remember the place, the time, the circumstances when you knew deep within your soul?

Do you remember the holy mixture of fear and faith, the overwhelming sense of purpose sprinkled with the anxiety of what it all would really mean?

Do you remember the call?

I do. In just a flash of mental effort I can place myself back into that moment. The sounds, the smells, the people surrounding me.

It was a time of action. It was go. It was do. It was verbs and momentum and adrenaline.

And it was a long time ago.

In the years between that bliss and this keyboard have been many hard days. This morning the mirror showed more wrinkles, darkened spots, and gray hairs than I may ever be comfortable with. And next to my name I now carry an age that I once believed could only belong to my parents.

I am tired.

All of that doing. All of that going. All of that sacred work of the kingdom, in truth, has worn me down into person I never believed I could become. And while I am certainly tempted to place the blame of my state on a thousand things – the air, the language, the bureaucracy, the inefficiency, the never ending evil plans of men in power – the fault lies within me.

I have forgotten the way of my Savior.

He had a lot to do. Certainly. He had just a few short years to light the fire of faith that would overcome the world.

But he never forgot the tension. He never forgot that he’s not just to do. He is to be.

He is to be the one and only begotten. He is to be the Son, in whom the Father is well pleased, far before he’d actually gotten anything accomplished.

He is to live taut between what he does and what he is becoming.

Yes, he fed the five thousand, but he also went up the mountainside alone.

Yes, he raised the dead, but he also withdrew in the boat.

Yes, he calmed the wind and waves, but he also almost slept through the storm altogether.

Yes, he preached to the crowds, but he got up early to seek the Father.

Yes, he washed the disciples’ feet, but he also went to the garden to pray.

Give and retreat. Work and rest. Serve and commune. Preach and pray.

Do and be.

The ultimate example. The ultimate tension.

So how is that going for you? In all of your doing, have you forgotten to be?

One of the reasons I felt the need to write this entry is because of how personal it is to me. Service is my family business. I come from a long line of men and women, who have chosen this line of work. It’s all that I really know.

But along with stories of faithfulness, I could share too many testimonies of tragedy. The one who lost her marriage due to neglect. The one who worked so hard her body couldn’t keep up and she found an early grave. And those few, whose memory still stirs my tears, who in the midst of their calling lost the very One whom they sought to serve.

What good is it to save the whole world, yet forfeit your soul?

Can I ask you then, my dear sister, to restore that balance? Can I ask you to take some dedicated time to lay aside the many do’s in life and allow your soul to be? Can I ask you to stop, and let your soul breathe?

It’s just one weekend. I promise that the kingdom will not be lost in 48 hours.

I’ve seen the power of this retreat with my own eyes. I’ve witnessed it restore my fellow laborers. I’ve heard the testimonies of those who have been changed.

Let it be so for you. Lay down your list and trust that the Sovereign can manage this minute without you.

Join the retreat. Come be with the Father. And let Him sustain you as only He can.

Sustain Retreat

Photo by Meireles Neto on Unsplash

1 Comment

  1. Casual Friday Resources | Paracletos April 20, 2018

    […] That’s the basic truth that Karla Markus reminds us of in this post. An important truth that every missionary needs to be reminded of on a regular basis. That’s where you come in. Forward this to the sent-ones you know, and […]

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