The After Season

The period immediately after Christmas or Easter is often a low time for me emotionally and spiritually.  I know that is odd to say. Shouldn’t these major high and holy days take me to a new peak? In one way they do but only after a season of rest.  Just like your physical fitness level increases after we workout and then rest appropriately, so does our spiritual life. 

For me, part of it is the natural let down that takes place after so much time and energy is expended. You can’t expect to maintain high intensity for too long.  The other part is realizing how much work is ahead to get things rolling again personally and for the congregation. 

So how do I rest? 

I take some time without too many personal expectations. I do what is in front of me and put off being concerned about what I am not getting to for a week or so. I also make sure to stick to my morning devotional routine even if I don’t feel like it.  It is important to remain grounded especially during the times right after a major season.   I know myself well enough that these seasons are real and they are normally brief.

Our walk with God is never an upward sloping straight line. How I wish it were so. There are peaks and valleys. The key to moving forward is to stick to your disciplines and manage your expectations.  

The spiritual life can be broken into three components: preparation – active participation – rest.  Knowing which season you are in is vital. When seasons of rest come, if we approach it right we consolidate the gains from our seasons of high activity and become ready for the next season of preparation that leads to high activity again.  Embracing the cycle verses being overwhelmed by it makes all the difference.