Rusty: We’re standing here in the kitchen of one of our very good restaurants in San Francisco. In a few hours, this kitchen is going to hustle and bustle almost as if it’s alive. It will serve those who will visit for what they hope is an amazing food and service experience. Restaurants are a bit like our lives. They come on the scene, thrive, and do their best to stay that way as long as they can. Then one day, they close, and they die. In the meantime though, they must respond daily to the needs and changes thrust upon them. Kind of like our lives. So, our Life App this week to stay with the run theme is called the RSVP app. Let’s start with R. R is for reductions. In cooking, a reduction is a process of intensifying the flavor of a liquid by simmering or boiling potsticker sauce until the desired volume is reached with a goal. That goal is to drive away as much as can be removed by evaporation.
Imagine though that we brought the science of reduction to our lives using God’s will and God’s direction to put the heat on us with the goal of removing all the unnecessary things in our lives. So that our intensity and flavorfulness for Him would be greater. How different would the hours that we spend be, or where our energies are directed, or how and where we invest our resources? A little focus on reduction could help us remove some of the unhealthy life stuff that needs to be boiled away. S, S is for service. Jesus didn’t tell his disciples, “Just go sit in a room and study God’s Word and talk among yourselves.” He called them to serve Him and to go out and spread the good news. He calls us to serve as part of being His followers. When we serve others, it means someone else is counting on us. When someone is counting on us, we do all that we can not let them down. We will change our schedules, lifestyles, and priorities so that we can fulfill that service. Feeling down, feeling not motivated, feeling unnecessary? Find some place to serve and you’ll see a difference.
V is for velocity. We have to be sure that we aren’t hurling through life at such a breakneck speed that when we fall, which we will all do, it’s not one of those epic GoPro moment wipeouts. We can reduce our velocity. Some of the best ways to do so are the principles that Jesus modeled for us. Daily prayer time, daily time in His Word, specify time with others, discuss our lives and God’s will for us, or dedicated time to worship. When we do these things, we’re not only slowing down ourselves, but we’re replacing some of those other things of life that might be sucking the life from us, with activities that are guaranteed to be life-giving. Finally, we have P for purpose. It’s ultimately our purpose that keeps us going. It keeps the drive alive in us. It can carry us daily through what can be an amazing life.
I could tell you, on more than one occasion in my career, at the end of the day, I wondered if any of it was all worth it. Other than that, I tried to bring glory to God all day long by how I conducted myself, what I said and how I treated others. I write a blog every Monday through Friday that reduces our purpose in the workplace to a challenge. That challenge is to bring glory to God in all that we do. So that even if our lives are cut short, or we’re fortunate enough to die young at a ripe old age, we’ve done the best that we can with what we’ve been given. So, let’s not wait, RSVP today to the invitation that God is giving us to sit with Him at His very open table.
Paster Terry: It’s great to see everyone. I’m so glad you’re here and that we get to share together. We’re in this life app series. If you haven’t had a chance to be here the past few weeks, there’s a little bio about who Rusty is. He’s sharing the presentation on his project, this Life App project. He’s been a great contributor and we’ve been working together to try to create these different applications of our faith in real life. This is the seventh application. As he alluded to, it has to do with how we can think about staying healthy. We’re not just talking about our bodies. We’re talking about our minds. We’re talking about spirit. We’re talking about emotions. What we’re really going to be contending for, and hopefully be strengthened to move towards is how do we in a very challenging urban environment. This amazing city has so much complexity attached to it; it’s highly kinetic.
It makes us think about how are we going to stay healthy. How are we going to stay in a good place? How are we going to stay spiritually attuned or aligned? I want to talk about that. The goal is to give all of us the capacity to sustain ourselves for the long haul so that it shows up in our ability to negotiate some of the challenging places in life. It also affects our relationships and how we work through stuff in our own lives. Let me go ahead and pray, and then we’ll get into this together. Lord, I thank you because of Your amazing grace for us. Everyone who’s here, Lord, made a decision to be here. There was a choice that was made for whatever reason. I have to assume You’re in it and I believe You are. I believe that You care deeply about our lives. I know You do. I believe that You know our lives better than we know our own selves.
I ask that You would give us faith. Even if it’s just the faith the size of a mustard seed. It can do amazing things. Lord, help us to not be so focused or distracted. It’s so easy to do. But to try to carve out space to be present with you as best as we can and to have a listening and understanding ear. So we might not only digest good information, but we might also be able to put it through the prism of our own hearts and listen for your words. Maybe there are things You want to underscore that are exactly what we need to be thinking about as we move into the rest of the week for wherever we are in this life, whatever pressures we’re under, or whatever our goals and dreams are. You know the type of things we have to do at work, our careers, and the challenges of our lives. I ask that You would help us to be better equipped to prevail. I ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
With that in mind, I was thinking about something that occurred. When it comes to the whole idea of sustained focus it’s hard. Even the best of us know that if we’re doing things we love and enjoy for too long a period of time, it’s hard not to get worn down. As I prayed earlier here, I can only imagine that some of us are under unique pressure. I don’t know how all of us are. Some of us are doing fine and might feel like, “Ah, I’m holding up.” Others may have come in here feeling an enormous amount of pressure. It could be something connected to our jobs, going on in our personal life, or in our relational life. Some of the stuff that’s going on in the home or in our own hearts is all intertwined. It can be hard. Even good things sustained over a long period of time make it difficult to stay focused and in a good place.
I was thinking about sustained focus. I was reminded of my grandfather. He was an amazing example of someone who sustained focus. I began pastoring here as a youth pastor. I grew up in the church. It was a very small church at the time. My grandfather would become my mentor. He was like a father to me, especially after my mom and dad got divorced. It was really hard and I didn’t really have a father figure. He stepped into that role. It was a wonderful example as he was in his late sixties and seventies. For me, he was a man of genuine faith, authentic, very authentic. He was the real deal, flaws and all. I respected him greatly. I remember the kind of man he was. He came from that generation. I know some of us now only hear tales about it. But that greatest generation, that World War II generation. They really understood suffering.
They learned how to prevail. They almost had to. They were birthed in a depression. People had to adapt to having little and had to work hard. Then of course, the war itself, which defined an entire generation. I say all that because he came out of that. He and a couple other families had a vision, a dream to try to start a little church and be a witness for Jesus here in San Francisco. They did it in a home. Eventually, it became a church. What I remember about him was his faithfulness to this work. He never had a chance to see that the church really grow too much. Part of that was because he was working full-time as a pastor and also a full-time job. The church wasn’t large enough to support him so he was bi-vocational. I remember that growing up because when I was a boy, I remember what he did. He drove a Muni bus here in San Francisco. That was my first memory of my grandfather, besides him preaching, was he drove a bus.
In those days they had a different way of collecting money. I don’t know how to describe it except when I was a boy, I gained some cache with my friends by saying to them, “If you say this secret word that I’ve arranged with my grandfather, you can get onto that bus for free.” I had these memories of him. I’m only giving this a little personal piece here. I remember the example he said. I was about 22, or 23 when I started preaching up here in my early twenties. I remember how scary it was. That’s a long time ago. I remember how long it would take me to get ready. We only had one service. To be able to share on a Sunday was a big deal. I felt very intimidated by it. It would take all my spare time when I was a student or working to focus and get ready for it.
One week I was scheduled to go and I was ready. I was preparing. I started to get sick and I got progressively sick towards the weekend. By Saturday I was really sick. I not only had a sore throat and a headache, but I was also feeling weak and miserable. Do you know how that is? I was in bed. By Sunday morning, I said, “I can’t do this. There’s no way. I can’t go up and share the way I am right now.” So I called him up and said, “Hey, grams.” That’s what I called him. I said, “Hey grams, You know what? I’m so sick. I know, I’m so sorry but I can’t do it. I’m not going to be able to do it.” To this day, I remember his response to me. “Okay.” I remember sitting there and I have this phone. It’s not a cell phone. They didn’t have those back then. They didn’t exist. But I had a regular phone. “So, I’m really sorry. I just can’t do it. I can’t make it.”
He says to me, “Can you walk?’ Can I walk? I said, “Well, let me see.” So I got up, I said, “Yeah, I can walk.” He goes, “Good, I’ll see you a little bit.” That was it. I did it. I have no memory of that moment beyond that, but I’ll tell you what I do remember was, “can you walk?” I have never forgotten it in my entire life. Part of his ethic as is the case with any of the people who have mentored us in some way begins to slip into who you are. People who you have admired and been affected by, usually they’re older than us. Not always, but part of who they are finds its way into our own selves. Part of who he is at some level is in me. I remember because it wasn’t too long after that that he was in his mid-seventies. I had just turned 25 and he died. He was gone and I was on my own. All I had known was the ethic he modeled.
As a young man in my twenties, I had only seen what I had seen. I’d seen someone who showed me how to persevere. He was super committed and honestly preached the same exact way whether it was two people or 200 people. I was amazed, it amazed me. As the years started going by, I started to realize, if I didn’t start paying attention to limitations, the need for healthy rest and rhythm that over time I wasn’t going to make it. I was going to ultimately burn out. That ethic needed to be tempered with the principles of God. The principles of God talk a whole lot about the need for healthy replenishment, not unhealthy replenishment. A lot of us are so worn down, that when we do get time, one of the real things we have to watch out for is we pull the plug in unhealthy ways.
I think we understand tired people make mistakes. Very tired people make big mistakes. God cares about that because the mistakes we make not only affect us, but they affect the people we love. So the issue that we’re talking about here matters a lot. God has so much to teach us about how to keep a life pace and rhythm that allows us to be sustainable in terms of our faith. It allows us to have a sustainable capacity in terms of the rigors of life and the intensity of things that will be shot our way. Whether it’s in our personal or work lives, God wants to teach us how to prevail. One of His principles is what we’re exploring in this app. It has to do with something that is embedded earlier in the older Testament. Some of us may say, “Well, what does the older Testament teach us about this principle? Even with what we’re going to look at here, the law of Moses? We live in modern times. How could that really have any relevancy for what we go through?”
I want to suggest that it does. One of the things we know is that there is a great amount of wisdom in the law of Moses. That’s the older Testament law, the centerpiece of which are the 10 commandments. The core of the law of Moses was the 10 commandments. That’s not the movie that I’m talking about. I’m talking about the real 10 commandments. They were given by God for our benefit. One of the things that we forget is Israel has been enslaved. The children of Israel, as they are called, have been enslaved for basically four centuries. That’s 400 years. It started with them finding themselves helped when Joseph brought the young families to Egypt in a famine. You read this in the book of Genesis. Joseph became a high official in Egypt.
God blessed them as a small tribe, really community people. But they grew. The Bible says as they started growing and flourishing in Egypt, a Pharaoh rose up who did not know Joseph. He had no memory of him. Eventually, the people of Israel, the descendants of Jacob, Israel, Abraham, and Isaac became enslaved. For generations, that’s all they knew until God raised up a man named Moses. Moses was used by God to deliver them out of Egypt. It says, he broke Pharaoh with a mighty hand. Eventually, God broke them out. When they get out of Egypt, they come with a context. They’ve never known anything in terms of their own capacity to self-govern. They’ve had no national identity. They have nothing. They come out with only what they’ve known. In many ways, they come out of Egypt highly dysfunctional. That’s why when you read the book of Numbers and Exodus, you see that God wants to bless them but they’re having such a hard time working with Him.
They’ve got all this stuff in them. God’s trying to work it out of them. Moses is trying to work it out of them. They got out of Egypt but it could be said that God had a really hard time getting Egypt out of them. That’s true and can happen to us. We can get out of something but that something, God’s having a hard time getting out of us. That’s part of our liberation. One of the things we contend for is to live truly free in Christ. We can be free and bound to some degree. Israel was out of Egypt, but they had a captive mentality. God’s trying to work with them. He gives them the law of Moses. Why is that? They had no sense of how to be a people. So all of a sudden God in His mercy says, “I want to give you what amounts to a constitution. A way to know who you are and who I am. I want to give you a way to understand your social life, your spiritual life, and your everyday life. I want you to understand who you are. I want to give you a national identity.” God gives them this law.
The center or core of which is the 10 commandments. If you look at the commands, the first three are interesting. They all have to do with something that God says is really important. Of course, someone could say, “Well, don’t they all say like thou shall not? Isn’t it just a negative thing?” Yes, but they are in the sense of whether they’re telling us not to do. God starts out by saying, “I don’t want you to have any other gods before me. Start with that. You are mine and I am yours. We are in relationship together. Don’t have anybody else entruthed in that. I have a special relationship with you. So don’t bring anybody else. Don’t start going down a path that leads us apart. No other gods”.
Secondly He says, “Don’t create graven images. Don’t carve out images with your own hands from stone or wood and then set them on a table as you saw in Egypt. No matter how pretty they were, don’t worship what you yourself created. Don’t think that anything you can create with your own hands can somehow capture who I am. I want you to know Me for who I am. Not as something that you’re trying to capture and venerate. Create yourself and then worship as if it’s me.” Thirdly he says, “When it comes to My name, do not use My name in ways that are degrading. Honor My name. Speak of me as if it means something to you. Don’t take the name of your Lord God in vain.” What is He saying is? The way we speak about something affects how we feel about them. If I say to people in my life, “I love you.” That enhances my love. I say this all the time to our church.
I say that for myself too. How we refer to something verbally amplifies what it is to us. The power of our words to shape our own hearts is significant. That’s why the Bible constantly reminds us to not be haphazard with our words. Why is it that we allow our intimacy with the people we love the most that somehow gives us the greatest freedom to be able to be loose with our words? Sometimes we say something to the people we love and have an intimate relationship with, or are close to. We would say things that we would never say to someone who wasn’t an associate of ours. Since that would be discourteous or insulting, we wouldn’t do that. Somehow we have free access to do that to one another when we’re angry, that’s not the Lord’s way. God says to these people, “Watch how you talk about me. Honor My name. Speak of it well, and it will change who you are.” What we worship we become like.
Those are the first ones. Do not make other gods. Do not create a God. Do use my name poorly. Then, He flips into a positive. The fourth one stands out. It has a direct bearing on what we’ve been talking about here. He says, “I want you to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” He makes the point of reminding them to honor the Sabbath. That’s a very important piece here. The idea is that somehow He wants them to be aware of this. We’re talking about something that God sets up for their wellbeing. I think about that. When He puts that up there and gives them a command, it’s designed to help not to hinder them in any way. Look at this piece of scripture in Deuteronomy 10. It says, “Now Israel, what does the Lord, your God require of you?” This is at the end of Moses’ life. “Israel, what does the Lord require of you?”
Moses is the only leader they’ve ever known. He’s getting ready to leave. He’s giving them some final words. He says, “What does the Lord, your God require of you but to fear the Lord your God, to deeply respect and reverence the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to love and to serve the Lord. Love God with all of your heart, and soul and keep the commandments of the Lord.” There’s the platform. “His statues, which I command you for your good.” Notice that last phrase. ‘For your good.’ It was for their good. God cared about them. That’s huge. With the fourth command, He wanted them to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. It was important for them to be aware of it. He was basically saying, “I want you to learn how to be different than what you’ve been. I want you to be a people who learn how to not just work in a way that is different than what you’ve known.” Remember, all they knew up until that point was oppressive work. It would’ve been a big enough leap for them to know how to be a liberated worker who had choices. That would’ve been a legitimate goal. But God takes it further than that. He does something that presupposes work. He basically says, “I don’t want you to be defined only by your work. I want you to be defined by your relationship with Me.” Out of that, the Lord says, “Then I want to do one more thing.” It was utterly radical and I hope we see it.
He says, “You to learn that you are more than just a worker.” One goal was, you’re going to know how to work well in a way that you’ve never worked before. “That’s a good enough goal but that’s not my main goal. My main goal is that you learn how to remind yourself that you’re more than a worker. You were created to know me.” On top of that, he says, “I give you a command to incorporate rest one day a week into your schedule. I command you to pull away from your work so that you are not defined by it. You are to be defined out of your relationship with me. I want you to have it time to rest, replenish, and think about me. Cultivating that relationship with me.” If you think about this, it goes all the way back to what God Himself did in the book of Genesis. Look at what it says in Genesis 1. It says, “Then God Himself looked over all that He had made and He saw that it was very good. The evening passed and morning came marking the sixth day.”
This is embedded in the creative account. “So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day, God had finished His work of creation and so He rested from all His work. God blessed the seventh day.” God declared it holy, set apart, and unique. It was a day when He rested from all His work in creation. God doesn’t rest because He is tired. God doesn’t get tired. He rested and sets the table for us to have that in our lives. He rested because He wanted to honor what He had done. We need rest because we’re finite beings. God models something for us. He pulls Himself away and looks at His creation. He looks at it, assesses it, and says, “It’s good. It’s vast. It’s beautiful.”
It’s not unlike an artist after creating a painting and has rendered it. The artist looks at it and finishes it. Then pulls back, looks, and says, “Ah, That’s good. That’s good.” It’s the same principle as being able to pull back and realign. God models it for us. God comes to us and models for us, as the son of God, how humanity works best. Let’s look at the example in Luke 4 of Jesus. It reminds us that we don’t live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from God’s mouth. It says, “So He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up.” Don’t run past that. “As was His custom,” His habit, His way, the Jesus way. “He went to the synagogue.” He went to church on the Lord’s day. That’s important. He stood up to read the scriptures. He engages the scriptures.
Jesus models for us, the best rhythm of God. What He’s doing is showing us how to live our lives in a way that is going to ultimately have the most health benefit. It’s interesting because later on the believers in Jesus, who are all Jewish, after the Lord’s resurrection will change the Sabbath. They moved from celebrating on Saturday to what is sometimes called the Christian Sabbath. They’ll celebrate it on the first day of the week to acknowledge the new beginning that is in Christ. From that time forward, there’s always been a dedicated day that followers of Jesus have given to this big part of their lives. The more consistent we are with that rhythm, the more we follow not only the way that God established it for His people, Israel in the older Testament, but also the life that Jesus models. It is a great reminder for us of how God views the best way to live our lives in terms of its rhythm, and what we place an emphasis on.
I have a couple of things I want to connect to in the time that we have left. I want to talk about it because I have a different angle I want to take. One is that we all need rest and to be replenished. God knows how we function. I hope we understand this in healthy ways. I need to keep saying this because we live in a toxic culture. I don’t say this as outside of culture. I say it as one engaged, as part of our world. Our world has amazing access but it has amazingly dangerous places too. If all we have are inroads of toxicity and nothing that allows us to get rid of it, then how do we stay healthy? If all we have is stuff coming in that’s not great and not a lot of healing things coming in to neutralize that, we’re going to have a hard time sustaining and staying healthy in our soul.
It’s going to show up in other places too. This is why the Lord is not just giving us stuff, “Oh, He’s just giving us command.” No, He’s doing this for a reason. He’s telling us, “This is how you live the well-lived life. This is how you sustain your life with me. You need to incorporate intentional times of rest and replenishment, healthy rest not unhealthy stuff.” Things that ultimately damage us and sometimes sets us back.There are times when we’ll come out of something and be so tired, that we do something. By the time we’re done doing it, we’re worse off than when we went in because we allowed ourselves to get stuck in junk. I’m not railing, I’m just saying that’s the reality. I’ll give you an example. You’ll notice there’s one little verse that’s left in the handout. It’s from Psalm 78. Initially, you look at it and you ask, “What is it even talking about?”
It speaks about Israel, God’s people. “They turned back and acted unfaithfully like their fathers. They turned aside like a deceitful bow.” It’s talking about a bow that you bend that has the string to shoot an arrow with. God had a plan for His people. Instead of staying healthy, they started to become like a bow that when it shot something, it was crooked, it was off. They couldn’t hit the mark that they were called to hit. “The purpose that I designed them for they were no longer able to do it. They turned away from me and now they’re like a bow that doesn’t shoot straight.” One of these interesting things is in those days, they didn’t have fiberglass high-tech bows. The bows were made out of wood. Strong wood. It’s what allowed it to have power. If that bow was not unstrung, it would warp. I hope we can see the analogy. We need to be able to unstring the bow. If we do not, we too will shoot in an unstraight treach. It will not be true. The way to stay true is to be able to unstring that bow. It’s a big deal. How do we do that in healthy ways? When we look at this we think, “Wow, this is what you’re getting at Lord. You’re trying to get us to think about how we can do this.” If we stay tight too long, we’ll snap. We’re not made to be continually in tention. Even the strongest of us will break. That break will show up in different ways. It’ll be so obvious we can even hide it from anybody. We just melt down.
If you’ve ever had a nervous breakdown or feel emotionally stretched to a place where you don’t know if you’re going to be able to make it, then that’s a difficult place. For some, it shows up and our body starts telling the truth about us. There’s no way to ignore it. We’re getting torn up on the inside over something. Or we’re being stretched in too many directions. Maybe some of us are living a lie and you can only do that for so long. We can only be one person to someone and a different person somewhere else for so long without it taking a toll. Especially, if we’re trying to be something that we know that the people we love need us to be, but then we are something completely different, and not what God wants us to be. Over time you know what that creates internal dissonance. It tears us apart from the inside out.
We might be under so much pressure that we’re feeling, “Lord, how do I negotiate this problem I’ve gotten myself into?” When we’re tired we can get ourselves in addictive places. We’re ashamed of things. We can’t tell anybody. We don’t like how we’re behaving because we realize we feel so defeated. I could sit there and talk about the fact that God cares. He’s not interested in rubbing it. The Lord’s not saying, “Oh, you’re awful.” I do that on my own. He wants us to be free. You see that. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. We’re going to have times of incorporating that. We have to make sure that we have that. This is the final piece here, God does want us to refocus ourselves in such a way that we have a perspective that is more like a compass than a crutch. When I think about a crutch, I think of something that people think, “Oh well, it’s just a coping mechanism.”
I don’t want to say weak but many times it’s a coping mechanism. God doesn’t want us to have Sabbath principles working in our lives as a coping mechanism. He wants it to be a compass for us. A guide so that we can learn how to negotiate the complexities of life. One of the things the Lord taught us was that we need to have a weekly big rock. Just like what we’re doing right now. I mean that honestly, that’s huge. A big rock in our life. This is part of my life. This is a big rock part of my life. Sabbath is a big part of my life. God honors this principle. When I come to His house and make time for Him on this day, my heart is opened up. I can receive soul nutrients. I’m here with others. I’m in the community. I’m doing what Jesus modeled. I’m doing what God modeled at the very beginning. I’m coming together and letting His Word get into me.
I’m being open to prayer. I reflect and think long thoughts. I gauge my heart and life before God in genuine ways. I’ve excluded, hopefully, most voices because we’re always hearing sounds all the time telling us this or that. But in the Lord’s house, we get to have that time. It’s almost as if we’re giving ourselves a Sabbath big rock. We’re Sabbatizing. I want to Sabbatize. That’s not a word but I think it’s a good word. It should be a word, Sabbatize. I’m making room for it. Jesus says, “I want you to have a dailyness to your relationship with Me. Pray this, give us this day our daily bread. Those are the little rocks to me. Every day we talked about having 15 minutes to honestly say, “This day, Lord, is your day. I’m spending some time in Your Word. I’m trying to remind myself of what’s important. This day, my daily bread. I welcome You into my life.”
Then to have that big rock as well. We build into the rhythm so that we’re creating space for the grace that will sustain us when part of us wants to quit or feels intimidated. Or when we’re in the middle of that dark valley with the shadow of death upon us. Or when we’re in the dark night of the soul, and we feel so very alone. How do we sustain? You sustain by having these rhythms that hold us for the long haul. That’s what we’re talking about. It’s something that I’m telling you, if we do it we will prevail. It’s not an Elixir for a problem-free life. It is saying you can negotiate things and survive without blowing up, burning out, or making a mess. We can sustain and flourish in a very challenging time, but we have to honor the Lord’s principles. He invites us into it. We will have our time of giving and our song. I’m going to pray right now.
Lord, I thank you because Your words are life-giving for us. They have value, meaning, and so much wisdom. You want to guide us in Your ways and keep us from being either self-destructive or torn apart by the different things we have to face on a regular basis. Some of us are stretched in stunning ways so just being here in Your house is a big deal. Listening to this message may be a big deal. I want to thank You for that. I want to ask that You would be gracious and merciful to us Lord. Help us to live in Your wisdom. One of the ways we do that is by learning how to walk in Your rhythm and follow Your example. They matter. I ask that our souls be enriched. I pray that we would be able to receive and assimilate the nutrients and allow that to happen so that even though our outer person, no matter what, you want that to be healthy too. I think many times we forget the most important thing is what’s going on on the inside with our spirit. That’s what’s really going to ultimately last. The two worked in tandem, but I know the thing that often we neglect is what’s going on the inside. I ask that you would help us to be people who breathe in and out, welcome you into our lives, and pause to make that a priority. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.