Where I live, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with a big parade and, for some, lots of Guinness beer. For me it’s a reminder of two weeks that my wife and I recently spent in Ireland. As anticipated, the countryside was beautiful, the people were incredibly friendly, and I was bored while I came off the adrenaline addiction that drives most of us who have hyperactive lifestyles. Those days in Ireland brought reminders of:
- Deliberately pulling away from cell-phones, computers, media and hectic activity. Once we adjusted to the change of pace, the rest, walks and quiet were rejuvenating.
- Reconnecting with nature. God’s creation rarely is noticed or enjoyed when we’re running non-stop. It takes time and determination to slow down so natural wonders and beauty can lift us up.
- The necessity of reflection. Sitting by the Irish Sea or overlooking Galway Bay were starting points for me to think and journal about my values, lifestyle, spirituality, career direction and relationships. Like Jesus, at times we need to retreat to a quiet place, to pray and communicate with God. This doesn’t happen without making time to pull away.
- People in our lives. Sometimes the ones who are closest get pushed aside, buried in our busyness. My wife and I took time to talk without rush or interruption. We thought about our kids, our marriage, our relationships and our life direction.
- The richness of cross-cultural experiences. Some countries and communities are radically different from where we live. Ireland seemed a little more familiar. But whatever the differences there is refreshment in connecting cross-culturally. Taking a vacation near home is more comfortable but far less invigorating than stepping across borders and appreciating other cultures.
- The need for flexibility in times of change. Ireland reminded us to slow the pace, look to the future, and not get rigid or stodgy. We can miss a lot if we stop reading, changing and growing.
- The inner transformations that come when we take time to connect with God, know his Word, listen for his voice and learn from his people.
How and where do you rejuvenate? Please leave a comment