If I bumped into you on the street or in your favourite café and asked you “how are you doing”? What would your answer be? Most likely, you would answer with a generic response, something like: “Yeah, I am good thanks, and you?”
Men are really good like that, being polite and yet saying nothing. But if you would pause for a moment and take a good look at your life and the season you are in, isn’t it more appropriate to see that you, just like most of us, are finding it hard to catch a breath?
It is so easy to get caught up in work, family and social commitments, that we struggle to make any time for ourselves. And I haven’t even started talking about your faith and church-life. Because the dynamics that go hand-in-hand with being a Christian, always seem to fit so nicely between the tiny open spots in your calendar, that you now have no time to address that chore you have been putting off for months now.
Now, just to be clear. Having a productive life is a good thing. As men, we are built for action and engagement, right? But too much, will sooner or later, come at a cost. And with all of this busyness going on in your life, how do you see your relationship with God? Can you honestly say there is one? Or has your faith-life become another chore on the “to-do” list?
It would be quite easy for me to point out beautiful Scripture here, referring to the way “Jesus can give you rest”, or “how He can shine a light on your gloomy situation”, or even go on to say that “your struggles are nothing compared to…” Don’t worry, I’m not going to. Although this is how most of us react to each other when confronted with challenges in our life, I truly believe that is not helpful if you are already struggling to make life work. I call that “Christian One-liners” and “Facebook Wisdom”. Stuff that looks great on a plaque but has no particular value unless you have first experienced something more real. Something that will actually influence your situation, perhaps even make a difference in your life.
I would, however, encourage you to ponder on that thought; “How is your relationship with God and how do you measure that relationship? Maybe this might help you to answer that question:
Is it what God gives you? Or is it more about who God is to you?
How you answer this question will reveal quite a bit about where your relationship stands with God at this moment.
As we are preparing for our upcoming Made for More retreat, here in SA. I would like to offer this bit of insight, into what this may offer you.
Being a Christian has different meanings to each and every person you ask, and rightfully so. The creator of the Heavens and the Earth is wonderfully incomprehensible and therefore, we all have our own personal narrative when it comes down to what we believe and how that plays out in our lives. But when you think of it, Christianity is, in essence, an invitation to friendship. And although there is a multitude of definitions that apply to the meaning of “The Good News”, there is no denying that Jesus didn’t start out his mission by building a church. He started His mission by gathering friends around himself so that He could do life with them, and they with Him. At its core, being a Christian man (and woman) is an invitation to become a close friend of the living God.
When Jesus says “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32), He is not referring to your set of doctrines or your understanding of Scripture. He is referring to Himself. That is the offer!
And when we discover that relationship, from that, flows all the good stuff we so desperately need to do life, to receive life and to find life.
This is what a Made For More retreat can offer you. Besides the entire weekend of relaxing, no phones or emails and letting everything unfold before you, this men’s retreat is all about (re-)discovering that relationship with God.