That word’s been used to describe everything from a soft drink, to a vacation destination in the Caribbean, to a couple hours at a day spa. And one could certainly enjoy a measure of refreshment from each of those.
I’m looking for refreshment of a different sort this week while attending the Refresh Conference at a Bible college in Iowa. One of the blessings of the ministry is the opportunity of pouring out each week what’s been taken in and digested during times of study of the Bible. But…you know how your car battery works, right? During the normal course of everyday operation it pours out energy as needed, but has to be replenished—refreshed, if you will—by the car’s alternator (at least, that’s my understanding; I’m no mechanic by any stretch of the imagination!). And that’s a daily process occurring under the hood of your automobile. But every so many years, guess what happens to that battery? Yep. It’s so depleted it won’t hold a charge anymore and you need to make trip to Farm & Fleet or AutoZone and get a new one.
Well, to make a spiritual analogy, I have a daily process of “recharging the battery,” and the weekly study fills up the reservoir as well. But boy, that reservoir can get mighty drained by the end of a typical Sunday. Week in, week out…Sunday after Sunday. Every Monday morning, I wake up to the reality that Sunday’s coming—and have yet to discover a week when it doesn’t! So what’s valuable for a pastor is to get away at least a couple times a year for protracted opportunities of refreshment. To pick up on the Psalm I read this morning (Psalm 23), these retreat times are days of lying down in green pastures, of lying beside the still waters, so that the soul may be restored—refreshed!
So, I get to have the privilege of someone else preaching to the preacher…teaching the teacher. Get a little more time to read and reflect and pray and plan(?). Get some new power cells in the battery, perhaps. And at the end of the week, hopefully a refreshed pastor can be a more effective one.