The Pause that Refreshes…
In the 1990s, Coca-Cola had a well-known campaign depicting people doing hard work, then popping open a cold bottle of Coke and taking a big drink. They tagged the ad with the phrase… Coca-Cola, the “pause that refreshes.” In his book, The Tech-Wise Family, Andy Crouch writes, “True rest seems elusive for most Americans. Only one in seven adults (14%) set aside a day a week for rest. And on that one day a week, what do they do? Mostly, they work. More than four in ten say they do enjoyable work, and an additional nearly four in ten (37%) say they’ll do non-enjoyable work if it needs to be done. Only one in five (19%) say they don’t do any work at all on their day of rest.”
After more than 40 years in ministry and over 19 years here at RBC, I am so thrilled that I can still say, I love what God has called me to do. I still love being your Pastor and I still love getting up every day and coming into the Church office and serving the King of Kings. Normally at this time of the year I take off for the entire month of July to refresh, rest and recharge, not to mention study and read extensively. But this year has been, as we all know, an unusual and uncertain time, and still is. As a result, I felt that it just wasn’t the time to take off for a month. Now, that isn’t because I am not expendable, nor do I believe that the work of God can’t go on without me. No, not at all. We have a wonderful team of staff that cover so well, and I never worry when I am away. But this season is just different and as your shepherd I have felt that I should be around as we reopened and initiate the ongoing process of our campus worship and ministries.
Maybe you have heard the story of how one man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. "I don't get it," he said. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did." "But you didn't notice," said the winning woodsman, "that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest." Well likewise I’ll be away for a couple of Sundays “sharpening my ax.”
As always, you’ll be well fed as James, Bob and Chuck fill in my teaching and preaching responsibilities. And that reminds me that Awesome August is right around the corner. Our staff discussed and prayed about the decision to host it under the current circumstances and concluded that it is much needed under these circumstances. Some of our guest had to withdraw (Fred Luter, James Merritt) due to risk factors related to their health, which I fully understand. Both asked to be invited back in the future. Fred even asked for two steaks next year. We still have an all-star lineup. We chose to host this year’s events on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Monday evenings in August… Phil Waldrep will kick us off on August 3rd, Dr. Steve Gains of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis will join us on August 17th and on August 31st, Dr. Bob Reccord will wrap up a great series of meetings. I am looking forward to continuing this annual highlight and hope that you will join us. And remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your Pastor and I’ll be back in the pulpit on the first Sunday of August.
For God’s Glory Alone,