Last weekend, many of us experienced a powerful time of self-renewal and growth at our All-Church Annual Retreat. One of the central questions that our retreat speaker, Rev. Colleen Darraugh, asked us to consider was, “What do you want to build in your life?” I know that I have been thinking about that question throughout the week. It is really asking several different questions. What kind of person do I want to be? What kind of life do I want? What will bring me joy and satisfaction in life? What do I need to change? What is God calling me to do or be?
These are big questions that require a great deal of reflection, prayer, and thought. In fact, when we were explaining to Colleen what we wanted her to do for us at retreat, I asked her to get us started. I said, “Too many retreats create a false sense of ‘fixing’ us in 72 hours or less. I don’t want to do that. I want you to help us start a journey of building the life we want.”
So, whether you attended the retreat or not, I want to encourage you to begin thinking about what you want to build in your life. As a part of “The Year of Building,” I will be preaching a series this summer and teaching a class this fall (“Creating a Life that Matters”) that will both engage these questions, and I want to encourage you to have already invested some time thinking about what you want to build. If you spend the next several weeks praying, journaling, and reflecting, I think that you will be well-prepared to engage seriously with this building process. For those of you who attended retreat, you got a helpful “kick start” to this process!
Life is a process of progress. As long as we are alive we are in a process of progress, of growth and change. There is no finish line, save that final transition into the next life. The goal of this progress is not to achieve perfection but simply to achieve. The goal of the progress is to progress. The goal is simply to continue to grow.
The only real danger we must avoid is getting stuck and stagnate, shiftless and sluggish. Depression can cause this dangerous condition. So can stress or working too hard. So, use these “lazy days of summer” to slow down and relax a bit more, let the sun cheer you up by raising your Vitamin D levels, and begin to think about what you want to build in your life.