Susan Cain did a great TED talk on “The Power of Introverts”
I think one of the biggest things that I need to keep in check is my rest. Not just alone time, but figuring out my rhythms for re-energizing the ways that I re-energize, as well as how I abide (abiding is related but separate, and I’ve been thinking about that lately too…). Now, everyone “re-energizes” differently, but for our health as humans (extrovert and introvert alike), it is essential to have downtime – quiet. Yes, while it looks different on the scale of introversion and extroversion, we all need it.
For me, having leadership in both the gathered expression of organized church (as a worship leader) and the organic expression of Missional Community, there are a lot of relationships to tend to. As I said in my last post: this doesn’t mean everybody has complete access. But it does mean that I’m engaging relationships, actively investing in some, and that requires that my rest is intentional if I want to be fruitful. So, what does that look like? I’ve been thinking about that a lot.
The rhythm of rest is crucial.
A daily rhythm: Time alone isn’t just for introverts, it’s for everyone. I appreciate what Joshua Becker wrote on his blog about this: The Danger of Neglecting Time Alone.
I remember a time when I wouldn’t get a phone message from someone until I returned home (that is, if nothing went wrong with the mini cassette tape in the answering machine). Or, the adrenaline rush of getting a letter in the mail from the friend or loved one that you haven’t seen in a while. Now we have cell phones. Now we have email…and texting…and facebook. My point, of course, is that with technological advancement has come a latent absence of margin. Waiting was more of a part of life, and we knew how to live with it. We survived. It wasn’t even (always) an inconvenience at that point: it was just life. Now in an over-sensitized, information-bloated age, we need to find our rhythm of rest, margin, and space. We need to learn how to be ok with waiting and quiet. Developing a daily rhythm of rest isn’t just good, it’s essential.
My wife and I have a two children (one almost 3 years and one that’s 5 months). Let’s face it: quiet doesn’t really happen until after bed time, but choosing to make sure that I’m getting rest (the abiding kind) is crucial. (i.e. not overdosing on a favorite show, not wasting time on Facebook, etc.) So, it means having a plan for when I get that time.
A weekly rhythm: The idea of Sabbath was God’s idea. The first thing man did with God was rest (think about that). As a worship leader it can be difficult because the weekend is filled up with worship services, but usually, Sunday after church is usually reserved for quiet and chilling at home.
The organized side of Missional Community actually helps me to process my own weekly rhythm of rest. I’m able to prioritize my schedule depending on if the community is getting together for ‘family time,’ doing an ‘Out’ activity, or if the leadership is getting together. Although, sometimes I just have to cancel something to restore balance in what can become a chaotic schedule.
A monthly rhythm: This is another where I’m growing. Scheduling a replacement to worship lead for me, so that I can have a weekend off to be with the family (or at least not leading) is something that I’m doing more often. It’s important.
Looking at my calendar and deciding my commitments is something I have to do. It’s easy to place stress on myself -to think that I must accomplish it all…but that obviously isn’t true. Asking, “What is God saying?” and “What am I going to do about it?” is the filter through which I try to run my calendar. Do I feel like God is highlighting importance in this specific thing that isn’t required of me otherwise? If not, then I need to let it go, and make room for abiding.
A yearly rhythm: What is that thing that you look forward to? Plan towards? It doesn’t need to be a HUGE get away, but at least an intentional unplugging.