Coming Apart

Today, more than thirty ladies from our Shelby Crossings church family will be traveling to Fort Morgan, Alabama for the 2014 Women’s Crossing Spring Beach Retreat. I hope you’ll join me in praying for these ladies, not only for safe travel but also for an encouraging time of community and a challenging time in God’s word together. (You may also want to pray for the sad, helpless husbands and kids left at home, trying to fend for ourselves.)

The theme of the women’s retreat is Breathe, as the ladies focus on putting some “breathing room” into their often overloaded existences. The focus will be in establishing some “margin,” as Dr. Richard Swenson calls it in his book by that name, which allows for a more balanced and healthy emotional and spiritual life.
Now it’s obviously easier to “breathe” when you have the opportunity to get away for a retreat on the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast. Those of us who are left behind will have to find our own chances to breathe without our beloved wives around. (Resentment? Me? Of course not.)
And certainly, there are some Biblical precedents and directives about our getting away every now and then for reflection, contemplation and Sabbath rest. I am reminded of the occasion, recorded in Mark 6, where Jesus pulls his disciples aside after a busy season of ministry and tells them to “come away for a while”–or, as the King James translated it, to “come ye apart.” The old preacher Vance Havner used to say that if we as Christians don’t come apart, we’ll come apart.
That seems to be such a common theme these days, on so many sides. The book we are studying in our Sundaymorning Life Group–Crazy Busy, by Kevin DeYoung–reminds us weekly about the need to stop, pull back, and find perspective in the midst of the business of our busy-ness. The key, I believe, whether we’re at a beach retreat or still in the rat race of our crazy, busy lives, is that we must make choices to build times of margin into our lives where we refresh and refocus. If we don’t come apart, we will in time, come apart.
That’s certainly something I need to hear these days in my own frantic, frazzled life, even if I don’t get to go on a retreat to the beach to hear it. (But no, I’m not bitter!)
May the Lord bless each of you with the refreshment of his presence this weekend, wherever you are. I’m praying for you, and I hope to see you on Sunday.
–Pastor Ken