Spiritual Wellbeing for Leaders – Be Still

January 24, 2024

Leaders often feel they must constantly move at the “speed of hurry” just to keep up.  Our work lives are filled with important activities, but our chronic busyness can lead to anxiety, damaged relationships, and burnout. In his five-part Bible study "Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times,” author Brian Heasley guides us through how to develop a regular rhythm of relationship with God in the midst of our busyness.  In Lesson 1 he discusses the concept of quiet time in “Encounter.”

As leaders, it is easy to get lost in the myriad of details we must manage.  Meetings, deadlines, and the needs of those we lead and those we serve all compete for what may seem to be an ever-diminishing amount of time. Executive coach Jody Michael and her staff share some all too familiar perspectives on leadership burnout and ideas for avoiding it in this blog. Self-care, or pausing to make time for ourself, is often cited as an antidote to burnout.  While these insights point us in a good direction, as a Christian institution we also know that pausing alone doesn’t always replenish us.  What we do when we pause can make all the difference in the world. 

The story of Martha and Mary found in Luke 10:38-42 is likely familiar to most of us.  Jesus is visiting Martha’s house while Martha hurries around serving her guests.  Her sister Mary, to the frustration of her sister, is reclined at the feet of Jesus listening to Him teach.  Martha finally asks Jesus to order Mary to help her to which Jesus replies that while Martha is worried about many details, Mary has chosen what was most important.  She has chosen to pause from the busyness and to focus on Him.  Jesus called this the “good part.”   

Jesus commended Mary because she not only paused from focusing on the hustle and bustle of life going on around her, but she also found solitude in Him in the midst of the busyness.  It is critical as leaders that we seek this balance.  Jesus does not condemn Martha for serving; He affirms it by acknowledging it.  Activity is good; our work responsibilities are important.  But Jesus reminds Martha that busyness alone cannot be our only focus, and our leadership responsibilities must not be our only priority if we are to live emotionally healthy and balanced lives.  If we, like Mary, choose the good part, we too can discover what Heasley calls the “life giving and faith enhancing benefits” of quiet time with God.

Let’s explore the age-old idea of quiet time in Heasley’s first lesson called  “Encounter.” If you do not have access to RightNowMedia@Work to view the “Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times” series, Baylor provides free access to all faculty and staff at: https://app.rightnowmedia.org/join/BaylorUHumanResources.

After viewing lesson 1, what actions would you need to take to implement the practice of quiet time in your life?

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