Welcome to reFresh - we are currently in our 7th year of ministry and are undertaking a 7th year rhythm of rest...read more below.
A sustainable rhythm for our 7th year of rest with reFresh
Honoring the Sabbath [rhythms] is not only an act of faith these days; it is an act of courage."
Dr. Matthew Sleeth in 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier life
I cannot remember now where I read it, but I remember being struck that Mother Teresa and her Sisters Of Charity take 1 day a week, 1 week a month and 1 month a year in renewing and restorative rest. I know when I first added this up I was astonished! They spent 4 1/3 months out of the year focused on loving God and on good self care in order to spend the remaining 7 2/3 months caring for the poor. They developed a sustainable rhythm which also gave them the ability to have an unswerving energy and focus of priority. Even in a “typical” day – only 7 ½ of their waking hours were devoted to caring for the poor while the remaining 16 ½ hours of the day were devoted to mealtimes, rest/sleep, play and prayer.
We at reFresh are not ministering to the dying on the streets of India. We do not delve into meeting the needs of the physically and socially impoverished people like so many good ministries do. And yet, dying, impoverished souls are not unfamiliar to us. Far too often the dying, impoverished souls we encounter are the ones of those who ARE in ministry - who are ministering justice, love and care to people without hope. We feel confident of our role in the body of Christ: we are a bit like mechanics to missionaries and pastors and the good folk who seek to love and honor God in their lives.
As reFresh enters it's 7th year of letting the ground of most of our current ministry opportunities lie fallow, we seek to incorporate a sustainable rhythm of 111 into our lives. We seek to practice what we preach. We seek to discover new rhythms of life and ministry as we offer the very same to others. We endeavor to spend a fair amount of this year in intentional reFreshment of soul and seeking God's face. It feels audacious, a little selfish and sometimes ridiculous...we are poised for growth like never before but feel this call to corporately heed a 7th year rest. I like what my friend Alicia Chole says about rest: “It is far less a reward for faithfulness and far more a prerequisite for fruitfulness.”
So...here we go.
We have already begun to reorder our days and most of us are doing it rather sloppily and with much trepidation in facing an “expansive” margin. It feels a bit like baby steps...many stumbly steps forward, only to fall on our bums and get up and try again. Yet we are eager to see how God will, like He did for the Israelites in the desert, provide daily manna for our physical, financial, spiritual and emotional needs.
For some of us, we will literally try to take 1 day a week in Sabbath reFreshment...and 1 week a month in Sabbath reFreshment and 1 month out of the year. For others, we are asking, “Lord, what is one way each week, each month and this year that I can intentionally seek reFreshment in your Presence?” Regardless of our individual 111 rhythm, these moments and days will, primarily, not be devoted to work, but rather devoted to our families, community and enjoying God and His creation.
Are you mindlessly stumbling through your days and weeks ?
Do you find yourself rushing from place to place?
Please join us in 111...
As you are aware of your own schedule and demands, would you consider asking the Lord,
- What is 1 way per week that I can intentionally rest/seek your face/be restored in body/soul?
What is 1 way per month that I might stop the normal rush to linger, saunter and frolic with my family, friends or self?
What might be 1 extended way I can set aside time with you during this year? (a silent retreat for 4 days? A conference focused on developing some aspect of your spiritual formation? A pilgrimage to Assisi or Iona or Israel or Calcutta?)
Join us at our facebook page to share in our community of 111 - www.facebook.com/mysoulrefresh
And if you want to pick up some good reads on unhurrying and finding a sustainable rhythm in life and/or incorporating Sabbath with your friends and family - please check out the 7TH YEAR READS page.