As the early morning light filters through the trees in my backyard, I sit on the deck off my kitchen, open Bible and journal on the patio table before me. The birds twitter a praise chorus, a squirrel scrambles from tree to tree, palpable peace invades my soul. The simple pleas of the psalm I'm reading become my own: create in me a clean heart; bless the Lord oh my soul.
I'd like to say that this is how I begin every summer morning. But honesty demands this confession: it doesn't always happen. It's not that I neglect Scripture. I'm in the Word most days. Because like many Christian leaders, I often read God's Word as part of my work: to prepare messages, write articles and books.
In ways, I feel lucky that I have a job that allows me to spend working hours focused on the Bible, but here's the rub: because I spend time reading the Bible at "work," it's easy to neglect this discipline when I take off my "Christian leader" hat. And then I can't figure out why I'm feeling burned out and empty. ...1