La Junta UMC
La Junta UMC

Engage and Retreat

“23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,” Matthew 14: 23 (NIV)



I am just going to go there:  Are you getting enough rest for your spirit, your mind, and your body?


We work hard and long most weeks.


In addition to our hectic lives, there are so many distractions and things bombarding our senses that we can feel worn down, overwhelmed by sensory overload and the constant “busyness” of modern life.


Jesus was kinda like me…a functioning introvert. 


While I love people, love teaching and helping people, as well as truly love being around people, I recharge my soul’s battery best when I am alone or with just a couple of really close people.


Jesus was similar to this.  In fact, Jesus models this throughout his ministry.


Scripture tells us that he would do these huge sermons and lessons with many people and then retreat alone to some mountainside to pray and be still with God.


Jesus teaches us that it is ok to engage and retreat.  Be socially minded but also take care of ourselves as well.


Remember, Jesus commands us that we must love our neighbor as ourselves because we need to be better at loving ourselves and caring for ourselves.  While Jesus and the religious leaders debated about Sabbath and which activities could occur on it; Jesus fully embraced the need to step back and care for the self.


I am particularly terrible at this.  Many of you probably know this already about me.


I go until I get burned out.  It is a pattern I am working on recognizing and fixing but still a pattern I can quickly slide back into.


Pastors in general have a tendency to do this and it is important to study the model Jesus provides: take that sacred time and be still, go to the mountainside alone, and pray.


What about you?  Are you burning the candle at both ends?  Are you living into the “Go, Go, Go” and burning yourself out?


Jesus is giving you permission to slow things down.  Take time for you wherever you might find it.   You deserve not just rest, but a true Sabbath so your soul can refresh and your mind and heart can be filled with love.  Find places and spaces in your life where you can be still with God and create some margins for your sacred time.  Time is the only nonrenewable resource that we treat with so much disregard.  We never get it back and yet we treat it so dismissively.


I know when I am getting burdened.  The telltale signs?  I get irritated with things that should not irritate me.  I get annoyed by things that shouldn’t annoy me.  Like many of you, I begin to feel the effects of spiritual fatigue.


Here’s the prescription: take time for yourself to rest and be still with God.  While it is important for us to be productive and active, we need to also make time to rest.  I work out hard most days of the week but my body needs time to recover; our souls and minds are no different.  In fact, our muscles only strengthen when we do actually rest and let them recover; our souls are no different.


May it be so,

Rev. Lou Ward

Upcoming Events:

      Adult Studies:

We are meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11:00 a.m. on Wednesdays in the Fellowship Hall.


Monthly Potluck:

Join us on the Second Sunday of every month for good food and good fellowship. 


Military Appreciation Breakfast

Third Saturday of the month, 8 a.m.:

Veterans and Active Military and their Significant Others, join us for a hearty breakfast as we share our appreciation for your service.


United Methodist Women Monthly Meeting:

Third Thursday of every month: March 17, April 21, May 19.


United Methodist Men's Monthly Breakfast:

*Postponed Until Further Notice


Office Hours:

Tuesday: 8-12 am

Wednesday: 8-11 am

Thursday: 8-11 am

Contact Us

La Junta United Methodist Church

601 San Juan Ave

La Junta, CO 81050


Phone: (719) 384-7717


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