“We should turn back,” I said to my mentor on a hike in the foothills the other day as we approached a sheet of ice covering the trail.
“Nah, we’re fine. Let’s go just a bit longer,” she replied. Then a few steps later she slid skating on the trail that dropped down quite a steep incline to the right. “Ok, ya, let’s turn back.” She linked arms with me, we pivoted together, and walked the two miles to her Jeep this way.
Togetherness; this is the way we are to walk the journey of following Jesus with everything. Linked arms with other believers, connected in deep relationships, we spur one another on to deepen our love for God, SO THAT we reflect the message of Jesus. LEADERS, you too need revitalizing togetherness!
Who is walking with you, linked arms, following Jesus? Who is challenging you in your walk? Who is asking you discerning questions? Who knows your deepest longings and weaknesses? Who is praying over you and with you? Who is genuinely mentoring you and/or in connected spiritual friendship? Who is caring for you in the ways you care for others?
“I’m tired” or “I’m weary” is a common state of leaders. Leading can be isolating and lonely. Leading can be overwhelming and tiresome particularly in the current climate of division. A close spiritual friend of mine taught me the concept of turtling. I use it as a verb now. I’ve noticed I tend to want to retreat into my shell when I’m overwhelmed, hurt, weary, or burdened.
Have you been turtling? Have you allowed yourself to be isolated in the crowd? We are to journey together following Jesus. Leaders, you too. Have you considered togetherness in relationship as a spiritual rhythm of revitalization? Recently, I was sitting with a group of pastors and church leaders in deep dialogue about ministry in our context. Reflecting on the experience, one pastor commented, “I really felt cared for.” Pastors and leaders, do you realize you too need cared for in the same way you care for others so selflessly and tirelessly? We are to carry one another’s burdens and bear one another up.
I hit the wall as a leader recently, and it was close spiritual friendship and mentorship that discipled me through a dark night of the soul. During that time, a pastor friend kept asking me, “What do you need?” The question became irritating until I was willing to acknowledge I too had needs of revitalization. Depleted is not a state to care for others from. Soul care and the nurturing of others by the power of the synergy of the Spirit pulled me through.
Are you in tune with your soul care?
Who is walking with you in revitalizing togetherness?
Jen Binford, Coach