Friday, April 21, 2006

There was a man who was a runner. When he ran he felt like the wind was at his back. He joined a running group. These folks also loved to run. He liked the community of runners because it helped him reach his goals. Sometimes it was a little bit of a hassle when someone was a little slower or when he felt like he couldn't keep up the pace.

One day, he noticed his running shoes that had served him well for a long time were really wearing. The soles were peeling off and the tread was worn low on the outer sides because he tended to supinate (look it up) when he ran. The shoes didn't look that bad at first glance and, to the common eye, there might not have been anything that seemed alarming. In fact, he was reminded, there are others who don't even HAVE shoes! But, when you're a runner, you know the importance of having a good shoe. After so many miles of running, a runner knows that he must change his shoes for the health of his sport.

The runner didn't really have time to buy new shoes, and there really wasn't enough in his personal budget to cover such an expense. Running shoes can be costly! He put off shoe shopping. He figured that the shoes would be good for at least one more race. And so, he raced. He ran and he ran. His feet began to hurt. His shins cramped. His finish times were inconsistent. His pace was erratic. His running group noticed. The runner began to notice that his work-outs were affecting his daily life. He began to have severe muscle aches. His knees often hurt and he couldn't sleep. It affected his mood with his family. It became a weight.

Soon, the runner was in need of more than just a new pair of shoes. He was in need of bodily repair. His physical therapist told him that he must stop running for a time--just long enough to allow the muscles to repair and heal. And, of course, he needed new shoes.

Some of his neighbors heard of his plight and shook their heads. "Well, I guess you've heard about 'runner'. Everyone knows." "All this for running?" "Is running really even a sport?" "What's the big deal...there must be other things going on besides just running. Maybe it's in his head?" "He complains a lot."

The runner knew he had to take a breather. But, he felt bad for his running group. They would have to pick up the slack. They would have to continue the pace, maybe wishing they could take a break too. He knew though, now was the time. His love for running could be energized. His knees could heal, his shins could take a breather, his feet could stop aching for a few weeks, and he could buy some shoes that would help him run more efficiently.

He knew he'd be tempted to run again before it was time so he committed to resting for 6 weeks. Then, hopefully, renewed and refreshed, he could get back to what he loved doing.

This is a story about a runner. It's a work in progress.

24 comments:

Phil said...

Love you, brother. Heal up.

Adam said...

You are a good man. Rest well. May you feel the wind at your back again and rediscover the joy of running. May all of us who run find a way to do the same.
AE

Owen B. said...

...and on the seventh day, God rested.

Good model, that.

Blessings, rest and healing, my friend.

Owen

Angie said...

I'm sure there's a clever comment here somewhere about not wearing out your sole (soul), but I'm not witty enough to figure it out.

So, from looking at the other comments... I'll just say...

Yeah, what they said.

- from a cheerleader who is not in good enough shape to do the kind of running you're doing!

julie said...

Brandon, refill. Let the Spirit talk to you. Let your children's voices speak to you. Take some time to remember who you are and what you like and don't like. Taste food. Read whatever you want. But I say, walk, don't run...take time to notice the amazing beauty around you. Don't let all those "have-tos" take you away from your rest. Spend time with those people who heal and encourage....stay away from those who suck the life out of you....I have known a few of those and when I am down and need rest...those are the time that I am most vulnerable to their life-sucking. Know that you are deeply loved by many...many who will guard that rest time for you...Let them guard it for you. I know that Sheryl will do her best to let you revive your spirits...

Anonymous said...

You complain a lot. Not trying to be hurtful, and I think you have a wonderful ministry. But life's hard, and ministry is part of life. People with regular jobs get burnt out, too. Christians need to be real and honest, but isn't there a point when you need to stop talking about resting and just start resting?

Angie said...

Whoa baby... Anonymous people are pretty bold (well, considering that they're anonymous!).

julie said...

Anonymous, you are one of those people that we need to guard against. I believe that Brandon is doing the right thing....letting us help him talk through it and allowing himself to be transparent. If you are uncomfortable with that...then, just don't read. We are told to bear each others' burdens...I am willing to help Brandon carry his...if you aren't, you don't need to voice it here. Yes, if it sounds like I am being protective...I am...that's what friends are for...I know that he would do the same for me.

Stephen Bailey said...

Glad you weren't trying to be hurtful anon. and I'm sure it came as an epiphany to Brandon that people with "regular" jobs (however you define that) get burned out too and that life is hard. Illuminating! Not trying to be hurtful.
I'm probably just a tad bit defensive for a couple of reasons. My relationship with BST is one, and the fact that I've experienced life with a "regular" job and one in ministry is another. There is no comparison between the two. It's a huge mistake that in our culture we've begun to see them as the same. It's also taken us down the road of Elderships as Board of Directors and church as business.
I do agree that there is a time to stop talking about resting and just start resting and I'm proud of you BST for taking the difficult step to do just that. Admitting you need a break for yourself and your family is anything but easy in our pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps-80-hour-work-week-keep-up-with-the-Jones'-at-all-costs culture. In fact, you have to talk about it a lot simply to convince yourself it's what you should do. That's unfortunate.
Now I'm going to go ahead and sign this,
Stephen

Brandon Scott said...

Anonymous,
What a brilliant idea! I think I'll start Monday.
I think I'll sign my name too,
Brandon

Anonymous said...

I'm happy that you're starting Monday. I really am. I know you're a good man, and I've seen the fruits of your ministry. And I come from a ministry family, so I understand the pulls that come with said calling. Just rubs me the wrong way sometimes to check the blog and read thinly-veiled complaints passed off as transparency. Peace to you.

Stephen Bailey said...

Thin veils are transparent. Complaints or not.

Anonymous said...

Touche.

Suzie said...

Brandon,
My husband found this link for a possible location for a private retreat. He is thinking of using it at some point for a weekend trip to refocus. The trick will be making the time to do it. If you are one who enjoys solitude, this might be nice for you. They don't charge money, but do accept freewill offerings. It looks like it is only a couple of hours from Nashville.

http://www.monks.org/aloneingod.html

May God bless you and revive you.
Thank you for the revival that your music provides.

Tim Castle said...

Rest up, Brandon. I know that your "fellow runners" will miss your presence, but so long as they're stick close to the Coach, He'll keep 'em on track.

You are neither "expendable" nor "indispensable" to your work -- you are valued and loved for your devotion to God, and respected for your openness in your struggles to be real.

As ever, you are in my prayers.

Brad Crisler said...

This may sound a little silly, but I am so proud of you! You are doing the right thing. For yourself AND your family. You have amazing gifts and you hold nothing back. No wonder you are tired! Thank you for sharing yourself with the rest of us in so many ways! Now go share yourself with your wife and children. It is normal to get tired. It is necessary to rest.
God Bless!
Dawn

~Jodi~ said...

Brandon,
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers! I admire you for doing what is best! Thanks for doing what is tough in being transparent, honest and real! God will bless you along this journey. Don't let others who judge you weigh your heart down. stay the path taking the time to rest so that you can run again with joy!
"Lord, the sky's still blue
For my hope is in you
You're my joy
You're the dream that's still alive
Like the wind at my back
And the sun on my face
You are life
You're grace
You are blue skies
You're my blue skies"-Point of Grace
Blessings,
Jodi

Justin said...

Brandon,

you are an inspiration to everyone you come into contact with. I appreciate your spirit and I'm glad that you have found a time to rest and recharge. God knows we need it. Two months of being the main worship leader at the CSC in the boro and I quit. I could do it. I have ultimate respect for you bro! Thank you for being such a great leader.

1 2 3 rest!

Justin

Julie W. said...

Anonymous? True healing, refreshment and yes, discipline can only come through the people that walk with us and love us unconditionally. I often need to hear hard things but I can only hear it from friends who are willing to risk the relationship because they truly have my best interests in mind. Anonymous, this has cost you nothing. Coming from a ministry family you should, of all people, know that side shots aren't constructive. Brandon, go with God.

Rick J said...

With over 40 years or trails and pavement behind me, I know that running itself, like ministry, can become a task master instead of a servant.

The first cross country team I coached back in the early 70s. Gave me a book called The Zen of Running by Fred Rohe. Here's a quote:

...whatever you do
with your running,
you only cheat yourself
by pushing, pressing, competing.
there are no standards
and no possible victories except
the joy you are living
while dancing your run.
in any life
joy is only known
in this moment — now!
so feel the flow
of your dance
and know
you are not running
for some future reward --
the real reward is now!
in the running
in the run

I know it doesn't sound like Paul, but if you're in it for the long haul... OK... now, "snatch the pebble from my hand..."

Leslie Ruth said...

You guys did a great job at Workshop on Friday night! Hope everything is going well at Otter Creek and in Nashville.

Drew Battistelli said...

I turn 21 in 11 days. Starting public ministry in front of people began at 16 for me. I've already been through a couple pairs of shoes.

One of the things that excites me when I slow down is the benefits that I gain to share with others.

From my 3 years of study so far in counseling/therapy I think Brandon being honest and speaking means he is searching for whatever he is talking about. He's obviously ready for rest. He just needed to find a slot to fit that in.

All ministers aren't apart of ministry, some are simply apart of running a business... From what I know about Brandon, he avoids the business aspect (it's not always avoidable, sometimes like moving buildings it throws itself in your face). Ministry families that their dads/husbands were always at work, teaching classes, preparing sermons, making sure people are pleased- those jobs don't even compare when you are about spiritual discussion, therapy, love, worshipful lives, and bringing a passion to people daily through many public methods on top of loving and teaching and showing Christ to your children.

I'm glad I am only 21. Even though I've been through a lot of crap so far, I am ready for the next 60-70 years working for God.

Katherine said...

Brandon,

I think this is a wonderful move that you are making-especially before you become so burnt out that something else happens. God did rest, and we can and should learn from His excellent example. There is a time to be with His people and lead them, and then there is a time to get away and have quiet and rest.

I pray that this will be a time of rejuvenation, restoration, and a wonderful time to be with your family and those that you love! I also pray that God blesses you during this time with new insights about Him and the plans He ultimately has for you. God bless you, my friend-

"This is the resting place, let the weary rest. This is the place of repose". ~Isaiah 28:12

We are ALL a work in progress... ;)

Jana said...

I agree with what your pal Stephen said: "Admitting you need a break for yourself and your family is anything but easy....In fact, you have to talk about it a lot simply to convince yourself it's what you should do." So, SO true.

Enjoy this time of rest, BST. What a great way to follow in the footsteps of the Lord. He's been telling us to rest from the very beginning!