Create a To-Be List



By Kim Collins

REST. A necessary but not always embraced word in our vocabulary. You might be thinking, “She has lost her mind; I minister with youth, how can I rest?” Or you might be thinking, “Oh, she’s singing to the choir; but it’s a good reminder this time of year.”

Regardless of what you’re thinking, it’s true…youth ministry is busy work with to-do lists that run a mile long as do the hours of the days, days of the week, as well as weeks and seasons of the year. Regardless of whether or not there is a holiday upon us, every season is a “busy season” in ministry, and that’s in addition to our personal lives of family and friends. So, while we take time to make our to-do lists, how about making a “To-Be List”? This is not a traditional or routine list that we check-off when done, but an intentional and essential part of our lives. It is a time to just be, to recharge in the presence of God.

I am a huge advocate of self-care and taking a Sabbath…a rest or a pause. I also think that we can have Sabbath moments each day. The creation story in Genesis tells of how God created everything, said it was good, then rested on the seventh day and called it Holy! God, who is infinite in all things, did not need to rest but took a rest. So why do we think that in our human frailty, we must be like the Energizer Bunny and keep going and going?

Rest sometimes seems to be like a four-letter curse word instead of a holy practice. I admit that when it’s my rest day and I take the time to sit a bit, my mind sometimes whirls about things I need to do and should be doing, or, I’m reflecting on how something can be done better, or completely changed. It’s easy to innocently check emails or voicemails to find that–BAM!–we’re back to “doing” again. So, what do we need to do to be more fruitful in being? Simple: step away.

Some of the ways to step away are through physical exercise (i.e. walking, running, cycling, etc.), gardening, having a cup of tea or coffee on the porch as you listen to God’s orchestra through nature, or going somewhere that’s not part of your daily norm. I’m an avid runner, so I consider my runs as “Running with Jesus”. While I’m exercising my physical body, I’m also gaining spiritual muscle. For me, running is a time of prayer when I’m listening, discerning, lifting up others, being intentional about the abundance of creation around me, or just simply being. Stepping away is tuning out the demands of the world and tuning in to God’s voice.

Rest is not being lazy; it’s necessary! It’s a time for our bodies (and mind and spirit) to recharge, regenerate, and renew. If we are always busy and do not take a break, how can we continue to be the cool, hip adults that mentor, equip and nurture young lives in their faith journey? Furthermore, how can we expect youth to follow Christ’s example of “going to the mountain”, when we do not also model it? Rest, it’s necessary!!! Rest, it’s Holy!! It is a time for the created to be with the Creator…to just be. It is taking care of ourselves so we can take care of others.

Take time to rest…to be holy…to sit with God. Rest is a blessed, holy commandment in which we should give many thanks!