WHERE IS YOUR CENTRAL PARK?
The history of Central Park is fascinating and instructive. In the 1850’s NYC Legislators were concerned that the urban dwellers did not have a place to retreat. The leaders created a 775-acre park filled with winding paths, green spaces, woodlands, and ballfields to escape the grind and unhealthy stresses of city life. It was the first major landscaped public park in the U.S. You can see from the picture how it is an oasis in the middle of skyscrapers. What a brilliant idea that has become a National Treasure.
A fellow named Al Andrews made a cultural analysis of American Life: “Maybe we are living like New Yorkers without Central Park.” Al has devoted his life to encouraging lonely recording artists in Nashville to live a healthier life especially when offstage and out of the spotlight. He believes human beings must retreat regularly from the hustle and bustle to be replenished, restored, and rejuvenated. If we are not intentional about this process, we will be unhealthy, make bad decisions, and hurt ourselves and those around us. He asks the question, “Where is your Central Park?”
Isn’t this exactly what Jesus did in Luke 5:15-16, “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” As a rhythm of life, Jesus would retreat to solitary places to spend time with the Father and be rejuvenated and restored. A burned-out leader is no good to anyone. Jesus, in Al Andrews terminology, valued finding his Central Park.
Where is your Central Park? Are you intentional about carving out times of Solitude, Prayer, and Scripture Reading in the presence of the Father? Are you saying “No” to things that are not the best? Do you ever exercise to relieve stress and strengthen yourself mentally and physically? Do you allow yourself time for a restorative hobby? If married, do you schedule a date night or a short getaway? Are your friendships being stewarded well? Where is your Central Park?
Jesus withdrew so He could invest His life well for God and others. He modeled a brilliant way to live. Are you living like a New Yorker without Central Park? Is it time to make some changes? Healthier living will flow out of good rhythms. You can count on it.
I will never forget my first time driving to NYC. We wanted our 12-year-old son to see the city. My wife wanted us to take the train or bus into the city. I declared proudly, “I can drive anywhere in the world!” As soon as we got halfway through the Lincoln Tunnel into NYC, a drunk driver threw up, hit his gas petal, and smashed into the back of my car. After managing this fiasco, upon entering the city, I turned right into a bus lane and got pulled over by a cop and ticketed. All I wanted to do was park and stop driving. I will never forget the moment we entered Central Park that day. I truly found an oasis amid the craziness. May God give us our own Central Parks to sustain and thrive in our daily living.
WHERE IS YOUR CENTRAL PARK?
Pray for These Upcoming Big Events:
- Louisiana Legislative Session– The Regular Session is now over but a Special Session is anticipated. Date to be announced.
- Chamber of Commerce Legislative Wrap-Up Luncheon—Wednesday, June 21 – 11:30am, Slidell Municipal Center
- State of the Children James Samaritan Breakfast – June 22, St. Paul’s, Covington
- Officers’ Christian Fellowship Weeklong Retreat– June 30-July 7: Teaching daily at White Sulphur Springs Conference Center in Pennsylvania
- Covington Community Prayer Breakfast – July 14, 7am-8:30am, St. Paul’s
- Northlake Christian School Building Dedication – August 10, 7:30 pm
- Forcey Bible Church 90thAnniversary – September 22-24: Speaking at the Saturday Missions Breakfast and at a Saturday Workshop
- Young at Heart – First Baptist Covington – January 16, 2024
- Holy Land Trip– February 24 – March 4, 2024: The trip is full. Get on the list for the next trip.