I am busy. When Monday rolls around I get up, get my child off to school just in time to head into the office, and begin a marathon of Monday meetings. Once that clock hits five o’clock, my wife and I jump to pick our daughter up from the babysitter just to have my wife head into her leader call while I prepare dinner for the family, bathe our daughter and start bedtime before my wife takes over and I lead Starting Point.
Tuesdays are another marathon day. Get up, get my child off to school, and then I have meetings well until 9pm that evening. On Wednesday’s same story during the day until I get off promptly at five o’clock to tag my wife out who heads to band rehearsal. Thursdays start early with prayer for the building at 7:30am and then I’m often asked to teach at VIBE (our Thursday night youth program) or take over LEAD (our monthly leadership cohort).
We take our daughter to gymnastics and baseball. My wife and I squeeze in a date night before we get to bed early Saturday night so we can hit the ground running on Sunday which usually begins around 6:30am.
Why do I give you my schedule? Well, partially to show you that working at a church isn’t just about Sundays, but also because if you’re anything like me you need to REST.
And what do we categorize as real rest? Trying to win the scrolling Olympics on our phones? Sitting on the couch and binge-watching Ted Lasso? Escaping to be alone for a few precious minutes before someone needs to talk to you about something, or pulls you into another meeting?
Your life may not look exactly like mine, but I bet you can resonate with those three words I started this post with:
I. Am. Busy.
We find ourselves exhausted all the time. We don’t get enough rest; we lay on our phones until we fall asleep many a night — and we wonder why by 2pm we need a Venti Iced Mocha Latte just to make it to bedtime.
In 2014, I was introduced to a community that would come teach me practices of getting away and resting. To recharge, rejuvenate, and be able to hit my busy schedule head-on each week. And not just push through that schedule, but thrive in it.
These practices and this community were found in the Axiom Monastic Community retreats we, as a church family, have been going on year after year.
Matthew 11:28-30 in the Message translation says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
On night one of an Axiom retreat, it was this verse that I began to experience peace and real rest.
This practice of a weekend retreat through Axiom has become such an important part of the rhythms of our church that we offer this retreat every year to those who attend Hoboken Grace. This year is no different, on the weekend of June 9th-11th we will be going to the Liebenzell Retreat Center in Schooley’s Mountain, NJ to engage in a weekend with God in silence, solitude, and in community – through prayer and group discussions. Talking with God, spending time with Him, and creating that space to hear from Him.
We leave Hoboken on Friday evening after work and return Sunday after lunch. The accommodations and meals all help to fuel this weekend to help fill you up before you head back into your busy schedule.
Try as we might to grow closer to God, our daily whirlwind of responsibilities and distractions often pulls us in other directions. With storytelling, movie illustrations, Biblical teaching, and personal prayer time, it’s a weekend that furthers our understanding of God’s dreams and purposes for our life. He invites us to “get away with Him to recover our life.”
So, Jesus’ question to His disciples in Matthew 11 is the same for you, “Are you tired? Worn out?” and what’s the remedy? He says, “To get away with Him” and what is the result? He will show you “how to take a real rest.”
To learn more about our upcoming Axiom Retreat or to sign up click here.