What Will You Bring Back?
When I left the Marine Corps in 1993 I swore that I would never run, hike, or camp again. I was done with all that stuff. I had grown up camping and hiking and all that, and I loved it as a kid. But it’s different when you’re forced to do it, and it’s regimented, and it’s raining or snowing or you’re carrying 80lbs of stuff on your back. Granted sometimes our field training in the Corps was a lot of fun, an adventure, just awesome. But most of the time I was miserable. So when I finished my time in the Corps I was done. I’ve not gone for a run since. Recently though I’ve been camping and hiking. My eldest joined the Cub Scouts. And surprise! I’m camping and hiking with him. And I love it again! Maybe I’ll try going for a run, I could certainly use the exercise, but I probably won’t go that far!
Have you ever given up something that you shouldn’t have given up? Didn’t even realize that you missed it until much later in life? And now you daydream about it in the middle of the afternoon. Now I’m wondering if there are other things I’ve given up that I ought to reconsider. There are certainly things that I’ve eliminated from my life that would be great to bring back. What about you?
Here are three things we might consider bringing back into our lives:
1. Spiritual Practices. So many people fall out of the habit of practicing their faith. They quit going to church services. They stop praying or reading Scripture. And slowly they forget about it all together. What a tragedy. So maybe, try going to a church service this week. Pick up your Bible and read a bit. Pray. Maybe explore some of the spiritual disciplines; here’s a book that may help: “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster. Please don’t think you’ve got to have it all figured out before you start trying out some spiritual practices.
2. Recreation. Yes, we are created for work, but we are not created to only work. We need times of play and recreation. Did you use to play golf? Did you use to swim? Did you use to host or go to a friends house for game night? Somewhere in your past you probably did something just for fun. But then, in the demands of work and family life you gave it up. Probably felt good about the sacrifice. But now might be a good time to bring it back into your life. You need it! Have a little fun!
3. Service. Have you ever done a service project? Worked on a Habitat House? Volunteered in your church? School? Soup Kitchen/Mission? Most of us at some point in our lives have experienced the powerful impact of serving others. But then, we slipped out of the habit. Our schedule changed. We thought ‘maybe somebody else could do this.’ And we stopped serving. Now would be a great time to step up and get involved again; to serve others. There are churches and non-profits doing great things in every community and they could do so much more if we’d simply volunteer to serve again. If we’d just stop making excuses and step up to serve!
What will you bring back into your life this week?
What spiritual practices will you start practicing again?
What will you do just for fun?
Where will you serve?
Not everything we give up should stay given up!
Grace and Peace, Rich