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Dear Summertime Friends,

I confess it—I have an iPhone. A love-hate relationship with my iPhone. Love the photo and video quality. Love a few of the apps (particularly the FIFA World Cup app this summer). Hate the fact that I feel tied to it as do most people in the world today. The expectation now is that we are available anytime, anywhere, all the time, and we should respond within moments. 

There used to be something called a “land line;” these were the only phones, and when you weren’t near one, no one could reach you, text you, find you, ask anything of you. It was wonderful. We actually had down time between work and home, travel and play. 

Most folks don’t even know that down time is a thing. We are constantly “on.” So hard on the heart and soul, not to mention the body.

The iPhone is a clever device; among its many features it has one called “Low Power Mode.” If I’ve run down the battery shooting videos of my grandchildren or watching the recap of the semifinals (sorry, England), or more likely I’ve simply forgotten to charge it, the phone asks me if I want to go into Low Power Mode. In which case it operates on a subsistence diet, trying to conserve the last remaining power. According to Apple support,

“Low Power Mode reduces the amount of power that your iPhone uses when the battery gets low…When Low Power Mode is on, your iPhone will last longer before you need to charge it, but some features might take longer to update or complete.”

When it happened again this week I thought, If only our souls had this feature. Some regular reminder to us that says, “Hey Dan, Susie, Jack—your battery is running low. Shut down all unnecessary activity. Don’t drain yourself any further. Go plug yourself back into the Source.”

You’ll notice that human beings have a certain amount of capacity; we all have a “battery,” and it is limited. Not unlimited, as we would like, but extremely limited. You have to sleep, every night. You have to literally shut down your systems for six to eight hours every single day of your life. I recognize some people have difficulties with that, and some people seem to be able to get by with less (seem to), but this is the way God made human bodies and souls.

We need to go into Low Power Mode on a regular basis, and summer is the perfect time to do it. There is even a kind of cultural permission to do so (if we needed it).

What I wanted to put before you this month is the very simple question: Have you asked Jesus, What is the rhythm you want for me right now, Lord? He might have some things he’d like to say to you about that. Not in the negative sense, but in lovely directions towards life.

It was another hot day the other day (Colorado has been scorching this summer), and I was inside waiting till things cooled off to go tend to our horses. Jesus whispered, You should go now. “Now?” Yes—now. So I got up, and went. I noticed cumulus clouds building overhead (I love those great summer clouds) and soon as I got to the barn it began to rain. So I slipped under an overhang, and spent the next thirty minutes simply watching the wind in the tall grasses and the rain falling across the valley. It was absolutely lovely, and so restoring. I would have missed it all had I not listened.

The rain let up, I tended our horses, and Jesus said, You should head back now. I didn’t want to go back; but I obeyed. Soon as I got back to house, a real gully-washer let loose.

A simple story. Nothing dramatic. But a beautiful picture of how God really does want to lead us into rest, beauty, and restoration.

You can’t just live “on” all the time. When is your Low Power Mode time?

So while summer is still here, and the park is gorgeous and flowers are blooming and the river is perfect temperature for swimming—or whatever your joy is—my goodness, go on Low Power Mode for heaven’s sake. Ask Jesus what he has for you. Go plug yourself back into renewal by letting him lead you to what he has for you.

Offered in love, and now I’m going on Low Power Mode,

John

Download the July 2018 newsletter here
 

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