I had to laugh out loud when I got copied on an email today from one of our elders to certain brothers in the body that he wanted to challenge to attend Recharge, our retreat coming up on Nov. 18 and 19.

I assume each of you men have signed up for the retreat and are looking forward to a spectacular day and a half together. Please let me know if you have any barriers to joining us that we can help to overcome such as: finances, transportation, work schedule, too long of a honey-do list, can’t find a babysitter, afraid you will be home sick, don’t want to sleep in a strange bed, afraid you will miss your football game, allergic to sand or surf, Saturday is your day to sleep in, think you already know how to make disciples, or quite possibly your wife won’t let you out of the house. We will try to help in any way we can.

That just about covered the list of objections in my mind, except for one. I call it two-men-in-a-bed-phobia. In an attempt to keep costs down and to enable us to fly in our speaker Jonathan Dodson from Austin, Texas, we decided to book four men to a room. That means two guys per queen bed. Now I get it. I don’t relish this prospect myself. I like my space. Sleeping next to some snoring brother with hairy legs just doesn’t sound like my favorite way to spend the night.

I already decided that I would bring my own mat, pillow, and blankie and take a spot on the floor in my room just for my own comfort.

And then today I learned about a couple of brothers that have ruled out coming only because of this arrangement! So I thought, why not make it official and offer one of them my bed to help overcome the objection?

It makes me wonder how many other men out there suffer from the same phobia? Maybe more than we think.

So here’s my challenge. Who else will join me in such an offering? Who will voluntarily give up his space in a bed for the sake of some who struggle with this unfortunate affliction?

The gospel can help you do this! Paul tells us in Phil. 2:5-11 to imitate Jesus in His looking-out-for-the-interest-of-others example based upon His magnificent stoop from heaven to earth to become obedient to the point of death. Let’s defer to one another, serve one another, and stoop for one another from the bed to floor in the name of Christ Jesus, shall we?

If you think the Lord wants you to make such a gesture for the sake of our diseased brethren, please let me know in an email so I can apply this gospel medicine for their healing and relief. Many thanks!

A Sweet Way to Fall Asleep

Tomorrow morning our weekly prayer group will continue our discussion over breakfast of C. J. Mahaney’s helpful article on biblical productivity.

We’ve progressed in our reading beyond the challenges of busyness masquerading as productivity and procrastination to now some guidance and help in how to ensure real productivity in our lives.

Mahaney casts a vision for the reader in one simple sentence: It is sweet falling asleep knowing we have redeemed the time. That’s a reference to Eph. 5:16 and Col. 4:5 which the ESV renders as making the best use of the time.

His prescription for arriving at this day’s end sweetness on a regular basis he summarizes like this:

As I hope you will discover for yourself in this series, our biblical productivity depends upon a schedule, which depends upon clear goals, which depends upon clearly defined roles. Working toward clarity on understanding my present roles is my first (and most important) step in developing biblical productivity.

Mahaney contends that planning for a particular week doesn’t begin with one’s schedule but rather with considering one’s God-given roles. He says, If I am not fulfilling my roles, my goals will be misdirected, and I will be vulnerable to all manner of requests and fail to devote myself to what is most important.

Don’t underestimate the significance of this principle. There is great liberation in the reminder that we are not called to do everything.

Mahaney quotes Gene Veith:

In our earthly lives, we do not have to do everything. Earthly life—and this is operative with non-believers no less than believers—consists of giving and receiving, serving and being served, in a network of economic and social and personal interdependence (The Spirituality of the Cross, p. 76).

So here’s the formula: productivity = roles + goals + schedule.

What are your God-given roles? Go ahead. Write them down.

You just might sleep better tonight.