I just got back from our fall high school retreat. I'm still recovering can you hear my sore throat through the computer?
The theme of this retreat was House Party. We talked about different relationships. Who would we invite to our "house party" and how those people influence us? I was overwhelmed by how transparent my group was about the negative influences in their lives. Seeing students self-identify areas of growth is always my favorite part of a weekend like the one I just had.
At the end of retreat we do this thing called Silence Covenant where we break away from the group to just be still. We spend one-on-one time with God reflecting over what we've learned and how to put it into practice in our "real lives". Contrary to my expectations, when I envisioned where I wanted to be in six months it did not include cutting off toxic relationships. I realized that I needed to carve out more time for my relationships.
If you've been around the blog for any period of time you've probably seen me share how my life is filled with busy. I pack my schedule with so many good things I don't have time to do life with people (other than the hubs). Meaning I knew my lack of close friendships was a problem. However, it still surprised me when my eyes filled with tears as I confessed to my group how disobedient I felt.
There are people in my sphere of influence that I know I should be pouring into more but I'm just not. A big reason is fear of rejection. If I just give people the surface level/"perfected" version of myself then they're much less likely to reject me. But relationships like that don't add much value to anybody's life.
A big part of the Silence Covenant is "counting the cost". Literally mapping out what sacrifices have to be made to accomplish what God has shown you. While thinking on this my mind immediately flashed to something our retreat speaker, Curvine, said during one of our leader meetings:
You can influence people from the platform but you impact people through encounters.
If I take an honest look at my life I notice that I spend much more time on a platform talking at people than in community talking with them. My cost for the next six months will be saying no to the things I've been finding my worth in instead of God. In this season that means stepping down from certain leadership positions and groups where I've been motivated more by status than mission. I need to remind myself that there is nothing I can do to make myself more valuable in God's eyes because my value is determined by Jesus' sacrifice and not my works.
I want to challenge you to carve out some time today to do your own Silence Covenant.
- Where do you feel God is calling you in the next six months?
- What is holding you back from reaching that place?
- What sacrifices or changes will you have to make to get there?
It won't be easy. Like I told my group at retreat ' you WILL get attacked when you take a stand for God". But somehow, I promise, it's always worth it in the end. Will you be brave enough to come on this journey with me?