Refresh Button

In today’s post I just want to ask one simple question and hear what you have to say:

What do you do to hit “refresh.”

I am not talking about the left click a the top of your browser. I am talking about what you do when you feel dry, uninspired, passionless, bored, and distant from God. We all slip into seasons like this – it is simply part of the deal this side of heaven. We find ourselves burnt out, not caring about the things of God, withering spiritually, not thriving.

So the question is not if it will happen, but what do you do when it does?

I have found there are a few things that tend to re-awaken my soul to spiritual life, that help me see things in a fresh way again, that give me new ideas, new vision, re-inspired passion for what I do. Here are just a few:

1. Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 5. Of course the entire Bible is the fundamental re-centering and re-inspiring force. But there are certain chapters and passages in the Bible that I find especially inspire me to faith and belief. Both these chapters are ‘go to’ ones for me. Romans 8, to soak in the promises of God, 2 Corinthians 5, to soak in the mission and purpose that God has passed on to me as a believer.

2. The Valley of Vision. This collection of Puritan prayers has been an incredible resource for my faith journey.

3. Piper or Driscoll sermon. Both these men have a knack for speaking the message of the Gospel in a language that inspires me nearly every time.

4. Buddies. Cigars. Deck. God has blessed me with an incredible community of friends that I have lived with for a long time now. One of the most refreshing, inspiring, and centering events in my life is sitting around a table on my back porch and sharing our lives with each other.

5. CS Lewis. Lewis is one of the most original thinkers I have ever read. The way he frames his discussions about any topic, but especially Christianity, allows me to see the same life-changing truths of the Bible in a fresh light. He is brilliant and Godly. He has been one of my largest influences.

6. World Section of the New York Times. This one might seem like a stretch to some of you (or for those of you who aren’t fans of the NYT, even blasphemy) but this news outlet does world news like no other. As I spend a few minutes of my morning scrolling through the events that are happening worldwide, my perspective slowly widens and (sometimes) I am slowly drawn out of my funk into a greater story. God is doing things in this world, the world is big, there is much suffering but also much beauty. God is a big God with big plans and it is inspiring to be on his team, contributing to His redemptive story for this world.

7. TED Talks: Ideas Worth Sharing. TED talks are a series of short lectures given by some of the leading experts in various fields. Check it out here. These are people dreaming about the future for our society, culture, technology, etc. Listening to dreamers inspires dreaming.

8. Iron and Wine. Dispatch. Over the Rhine. Just to name a few great bands that for one reason or another stir me more than others.

9. Pray for other people. Praying for anything, everything, other than myself tends to awaken my soul more than praying for me and only me. Praying for my wife, my son, my friends, the church, the world, or anything else outside of my own head, for one reason or another, jump-starts my spiritual awareness more than praying for only my own concerns.

10. A long bike ride. Cranking out 30 or 40 miles on the bike on a beautiful fall day, no wind, sunny, a few clouds, leaves changing: God’s creation itself has proven to be one of the most inspiring influences thus far in my life. Bike rides are one of my favorite access points to His incredible creation.

Of course, my list will be different from yours. what are a couple things you do to hit “refresh?” I would love to hear them.

(HT: I stole the idea for this post from Steve McCoy at Reformissionary read his list here.)

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