Create a Spiritual Wellness Program to Avoid Plateauing

Create a Spiritual Wellness Program to Avoid Plateauing

Summer typically signals the end of the school year. We plan time to vacation, visit families, travel to amusement or national parks, barbeques or maybe head to the beach.  It may also be the time when our spiritual lives plateau.  Like any fitness or exercise program, we need a spiritual wellness plan to remain active and avoid plateauing. 

Merriam-Webster defines a plateau as a relatively stable level, period, or condition.  Work may be characterized by the status quo or we may focus less on developing ourselves or others.  Plateauing may cause us to begin to take our work, and the people around us for granted. Our spiritual life can also plateau.  We may feel stuck, church attendance may wane, and focus may drift away from God.  Our spiritual workouts seem harder with the demands of other activities or family vacations.

Vacations can be exhausting.  We make hotel reservations, plan our trips’ routes and perhaps where to eat.  Activities like volleyball, swimming, kayaking, basketball, hiking and even walking the amusement parks can make us feel like we’re training for the Iron Man competition or Olympics.  But how will we remain connected to God?  1 Timothy 4:8 (ERV) reminds us:

“Training your body helps you in some ways. But devotion to God helps you in every way. It brings you blessings in this life and in the future life too.”

What about creating a spiritual wellness plan to avoid plateauing?  It doesn’t take much to avoid hitting a plateau; but it does require action.  There are actions and ways to avoid plateauing.

What about creating a spiritual wellness plan to avoid plateauing?

Like a fitness plan, creating a spiritual wellness plan requires that you:

  1. Don’t try to do everything at once.  Doing too much may ruin the vacation and make the time spent seem tedious. Pick just one activity, such as reading the Bible, listening to a podcast or inspirational stories or Contemporary Christian music. 
  2. Divide your time into blocks or segments.  Morning may be a time for prayer or reflection, while afternoon could be time for reading or a movie.  A prayer on the roller coaster can’t hurt! 
  3. Use progressive overloading to make small, steady increases in the volume or frequency of your program.  Progressive overloading is an exercise concept to increase muscle size, tone or promote changes in cardiovascular response.  You can combine driving with listening to audiobooks from authors like Max Lucado, John Maxwell or our own Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges.  You can find a lot of free content (Blogs, devotionals and podcasts) in the resources section of Lead Like Jesus website (www.leadlikejesus.com).  
  4. Plan activities to share with the family.  If you usually lead family prayer time, try rotating with other family members. You might be surprised.  Remember, it’s the quality of the prayer, not the duration of the prayer that matters.  Matthew 6:7 (NLV) reminds us:

“When you pray, do not say the same thing over and over again making long prayers like the people who do not know God. They think they are heard because their prayers are long.”

  1. Spiritual growth happens in many ways, and you can’t always train for it.  God loves surprises and you should expect some too.  I remember a time when our daughter, asked to bless the food at a restaurant.  We bowed our heads and she broke out in a rendition of “Oh, the Lord’s Been Good to Me.”  What a surprise!  All we could do was laugh as others around us smiled, all of us blessed and amused.
  2. Schedule “deload” time.  Don’t forget you’re on vacation.  A vacation should include time to rest and recover. Hopefully, you won’t be so busy vacationing that you pray to go back to work so you can rest.    
  3. Be present in whatever you are doing.  When you’re with God, be with Him.  But, when you’re with the family don’t sit on the sidelines.  The memories you create and the love you share are critical to a spiritual wellness program.  1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV) reminds us:

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

Challenge: As you prepare for your vacation, or at least break from work, develop a spiritual wellness program for yourself and your family.  There should be balance for everyone.  “Balance is necessary when planning vacations. Rest is a gift; more than that, it is a human need. We cannot survive apart from the rhythm of work and rest, as can be seen in our daily requirement for sleep. At the same time, rest is not the purpose of life (www.gotquestions.org/Christian-vacation.html).”  

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Gilbert Camacho

Gilbert Camacho serves as President, Organizational Leadership Solutions, a management consulting firm, based in Melbourne, Florida.  Gilbert is a certified Lead Like Jesus Facilitator with extensive leadership experience in the private, public and non-profit sectors.  He has been a contributing author to the Lead Like Jesus Blog for almost 3 years writing monthly on such issues as servant leadership, accountability, trust and integrity.  Gilbert s a sought-after Speaker, Trainer, and Executive Coach.  Gilbert is a Registered Shared Neutral (Mediator) with the State Supreme Court of Georgia.  He recently retired an Associate Director for the Human Resources Office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.  Gilbert has been married to his best friend, Annie, for almost 40 years.  Together they have raised two beautiful daughters, Holley and Logan.