Lately at each church staff meeting, we invite a guest speaker to unload some wisdom on us. This week we hosted Kevin Colón, one of my good friends and one of the most intentional people I know. He spoke on relationships, how disappointment can build intimacy and how his family practices Sabbath in a fast paced culture. Here is a summary of what he brought
Every relationship we have, including our relationship with God gives us something and/or we give something to and they all have one common denominator: disappointment.
We disappoint others and we are disappointed by others and of course, the same with God. Our ability to process that disappointment can lead to a deeper intimacy in that relationship.
At Kevin’s first meeting with a mentor the mentor opened with, “Well Kevin, first up, I will disappoint you and you will disappoint me.” He was very clear about his humanity.
We have to embrace the fullness of what it means to be disappointed and to disappoint each other, God etc.
Questions to process disappointment:
“Lets go back over the last X years and look at all the disappointments – with each other, with God. What were our hopes? What hope was lost? What does God have to say about it? What do we say to each other about this?”
Asking what God would say helped shaped what we would then say to each other. It drove how to pray with each other.
Disappointment and hurt can be generated because of the way we file memories and experiences in our mind. Processing disappointment can be a chance to “refile” into the right place of our mind.
The gift you can give each other is openness to disappoint and lost hope. This keeps your heart tender and fresh for what might come next.
Northumbria Community has a rule of life, like the Benedictines, but their rule is simple: availability and vulnerability toward God and each other.
This process is important because the key task of a christian leader is putting our heart out there, exposed every day to be available and vulnerable.
Sabbath does not mean day off. Sabbath is: 6 days are for you. 1 day is for God:. keep it holy, set it apart. For church staff, Sunday is not sabbath.
Q: what day can I take that will be altogether different in noise level and interaction?
Sabbath begins at sundown, we go to sleep on sabbath fully aware to each other, fully aware to God. Sabbath is receiving, getting all the goodness of God that is offered that day.
Sabbath question: what gives you life? Who, what activities, what places, what absences fill you with life and energy? Sabbath is not the absence of activity, it is often quite active, but the activity is God focused and life giving. Example: running not for calorie loss, but running for the joy of running.
Sabbath from technology: no phones, no tv, no electronics. Sabbath is a different level of noise. Sabbath is full awareness and presence toward the people you love, awareness and presence toward your God who gives you good gifts.
Dipping your toe into Sabbath practice:
– Cancel something for sabbath.
– Plan ahead, schedule sabbath in advance. Prepping for Sabbath can be shockingly difficult to do.
– Maybe it won’t be 24 hrs, but start somewhere. 3 hour sabbath, half day, but really, you can do 24 hours and if you cannot, that is a sign that you need sabbath!
Sabbath vs day off: “the best critique of the bad is the practice of the better” – Alan hirsch
If you are in a household with members who have very different experiences of what gives them life, you can create a rhythm of mutual submission, so everyone participates in one person’s life giving. Sabbath involves lots of conversation and compromise and mutual submission. In our home, we do things together, but we also have time of separate sabbath.
“Tomorrow morning “we’re sleeping in until there is no more sleep left in us.” Love it!
Thanks Kevin, come back any time!