For those who just finished another academic year, congratulations! It’s the Monday after finals week and commencement here at KU. In Lawrence today, it feels as if the university and the whole community has breathed a giant sigh of relief. Traffic is lighter. People are calmer. The pace is a little slower.
We have arrived at a space of rest.
Rest is biblical. Jesus often went on retreat — a protracted period of rest and recovery — especially after public and large (likely stressful) periods of ministry. Jesus also spent time in retreat before beginning important new ministries or undertaking difficult tasks. In this context, his retreats were prayerful times of preparation.
As disciples, we would do well to take our cues from Jesus and routinely make time for prayerful periods of rest, recovery, and preparation. Retreats undertaken in this spirit are regenerative.
As for me? I just finished my first academic year in full-time ministry as campus minister. Like many students, faculty, and staff at this time of year, I am tired from the year of many good things and much activity. I need rest.
So today, I’m leaving for a retreat. It will be a mixture of rest and recovery, prayer and preparation. I pray that it will be a period of renewal yielding fertile soil.
What practices do you use for regeneration?
–Susan Mercer, Wesley KU Campus Minister