Have you ever felt like you were spinning too many plates? I have and this past year I realized I had to stop spinning so many. When I looked at the important areas of responsibility, mine included a publishing business, a recording studio, my family, a new magazine at Experience Worship, songwriting, Worship Weekends and leading worship at Christ Church Nashville. And, each one has impacted my life in a positive way which made it difficult releasing any one of them. However, it felt like I was running from one thing to the next in order to keep plates from dropping to the floor and breaking. That’s really not the way I want to live. I believe God deserves the best we have to offer, and because much of my quality time was being spent between ‘too’ many things then something had to give. After deliberating with God, my wife and the 4 walls of my office, I decided to step back from my position at Christ Church. Wow, that was tough. Afterall, I spent more than 8 years leading the congregation in worship. And, with 3 services each week, that’s nearly nine-hundred total worship services. To take it a step further; that’s more than three thousand five hundred songs I’ve led from the same stage. While it wasn’t an easy decision, it became clearer as I walked, talked and prayed with the Lord. I think it’s much easier to keep doing what we do right? At least that’s the way I felt. Believe it or not, we can even become used to chaos.
Today was the first day I didn’t have to attend a worship staff meeting. It felt odd but right. My mind suddenly feels like there’s more space, more time to think, more focus on the remaining list. A good friend recently suggested that as we age it’s important to narrow our path. In one word, simplify. That word found it’s way to my heart and mind and has now become an action verb for my life. I’m not quitting everything. I’m not giving up. I’m just thinking different, working smarter and planning time with things that mean the most in my life, like studying my kid’s faces, leaving work early to get home to my wife, taking a walk to reflect, writing a song underneath a shady tree, listening to the birds sing their lullaby, pausing after saying ‘how are you’ to take in what someone says, praying more and reading more. It’s more than a bucket list. I think it’s a life fully lived. Too often we spend much of our lives running in what becomes a big circle. Keeping up with everyone else and the image for what? Some may say Regi’s having a mid-life crisis but I say I’m not waiting until I’m 65 to enjoy my definition of a full life. I’m going to do it now while I have my kid’s around me to enjoy it with; before they are out of the house. Before I wake up and wish I would have done it sooner.
This past December we took a much needed vacation. It wasn’t to visit New York (although it’s one of my favorite places) or Disney, but rather a small, quiet and reflective cabin near a stream. Okay, so the property was amazing and is surrounded by a stunning view but the main point is that there were no nightly fireworks, no tall skyscrapers, no Broadway musicals, no Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Just quiet. Outdoors. Snow. Animals. Mountains. More snow. When my wife asked our son, who is 8 what he liked most about our visit he said, ‘the quiet’. See, I think from an early age until the end there’s something important about quiet and peaceful moments. I’d like to suggest you find some place like that. Maybe it’s a long walk or a drive in the car. Unplug from the electronics and take a look at your life to see if there’s one plate or two you need to stop spinning. It may be just what you need to lessen the stress. Try it and let me know.
Until next time,