Episode 018 – Build Your Central Park

Key Passage(s): Luke 5:15-16

Our lives are incredibly busy, and most of us aren’t intentional about creating space to retreat from the hustle and bustle to find rest, restoration, and rejuvenation. And yet, without such spaces, we deteriorate and lose focus on what’s important. Jesus understood this. In this teaching, we look at Jesus’ rhythm of retreat, and get really practical on how we can do the same in order to live a vibrant and properly focused life.

Discussion Questions

  • What’s your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • Where do you currently have Central Parks set up in your life? Do you visit them regularly?
  • Where do you need to be more intentional about building Central Parks (in your personal life, work life, in key relationships)?
  • How do you view the importance of rest and retreat?
  • What gives you the most life? What do you enjoy doing that causes you to lose time? Are you finding enough time to do those things?
  • Where do you need to get out the bulldozer and clear some space (hint: think through what answers you came up with from last week’s teaching, and implement those)?
  • How will you begin walking out these truths in the next week?
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  1. TIM ROBERTS June 5, 2018 at 6:39 am - Reply

    Great!! I love this. I’m guilty of not holding onto my bulldozer….
    I have things that need to go. I enjoyed listening to this.

  2. Christopher Pohlod June 6, 2018 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Recently 1/3 of my job changed (admin role abruptly terminated) I believe God stepped in and was the bulldozer. He gave me a year to do it myself, but I am seeing each day the benefits of self renewal. I am a big Stephen Covey fan and his 7 habits (And 8th habit) and Habit 7 is “Sharpen the Saw” or the habit of self renewal. Over the years it has been nice to find scriptural support for these habits. Here’s a video link for his analogy: Big Rocks first: (which relates to Episode 17) (Habit 3: Keep First things first) which self renewal (Habit 7) is a first thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciBRcrOgFJU…you can stretch the analogy too far…but you only have so many big rocks to fill in your life…Brad thanks so much for being a bit of central park for me as my life transitions.

    • Brad Gray June 24, 2018 at 8:45 am - Reply

      I greatly appreciate your comments, Christopher. Thank you so much for sharing all of this.

  3. Jim Bowden June 6, 2018 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    My wife and I searched for our “Central Park” for three years after my retirement, and we found it in our retirement home in Fishers, Indiana. It is a haven for us, with a gorgeous pond full of fish and water fowl, a large field next to us full of walkers, bike riders, frisbee throwers and their dogs, birds, small animals (and occasional deer, of course), and a lovely woods surrounding us on 3 sides on our quiet little cul de sac, a daily place to visit and revisit throughout the day, reflecting on our blessings and our hopes, whether it be on the patio out back, on the front porch watching another gorgeous sunset, fishing the pond, or just sitting in the quiet of the early morning or late evening listening to the water fountain. I call it my wife’s time of “soliloquy.”

  4. JB June 7, 2018 at 9:46 pm - Reply

    Brad, would you be willing to share what these central parks look like for you practically?

    • Brad Gray June 24, 2018 at 8:42 am - Reply

      I’d be happy to, JB. (1) I have a 90-minute window first thing in the morning where I read, pray, and think. It centers me and grounds my day. It’s my most cherished personal time. (2) I run 3x a week, and during this time I usually listen to podcasts and spend time thinking through how to apply those learnings to my life. (3) My family and I observe the Sabbath, and it’s the healthiest rhythm we have. Can’t recommend this enough! (4) My wife and I have have regular date nights which feed our soul, marriage, and allow us to discuss how we can live more focused and make any corrections that are needed. (5) I have regular time with my kids where we connect about life, school, and anything else they want to discuss. (6) And we are very intentional as a family scheduling family vacations which allow those to be a staples in our yearly schedules. So those are 6 of my Central Parks 🙂

      • JB July 12, 2018 at 10:47 pm - Reply

        Thanks so much- that is very helpful. Loved this week’s (July 10) podcast putting this together even more. Puts my current routines into perspective… my daily listening to an audio Bible, reading our morning devotional together with my son over breakfast. I have tried to use the examen prayer but with a busy 3yo son it is hard to step away completely, even for 15 minutes. Would love to hear, at some point, what your Sabbath looks like, especially with 4 busy kids. Enjoy your podcast- thank you.

        • Brad Gray July 16, 2018 at 2:12 pm - Reply

          I plan to do a series on the Sabbath in the coming months, so I’ll definitely lay those elements out at that time. Thanks, JB.

  5. Sue Christian June 10, 2018 at 8:22 am - Reply

    Brad, took some notes to talk with my husband about. Put the words intentional and breathe deeply on a note card. We fill our lives with so many things that we feel we need and forgot who we are living for. I need the constant reminder of God is why I am here (my Central Park) and not me (building)!
    Thank you for reminding me that life is about Him and He likes time with me. Sometimes I find that hard to imagine! Sue

    • Brad Gray June 24, 2018 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Yep, I need that constant reminder as well, Sue. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Beth June 27, 2018 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    I’m a bit behind on episodes, so just viewed this teaching. My husband had to retire 4 years ago (at age 56) from pastoral ministry due to Parkinson’s Disease. I am now his full-time care giver. I have been struggling with finding time and space to refresh & rejuvenate. Sometimes it’s tempting to think that carving in this time would be just one more thing to add on my plate of things to do. I know there are ways to build my Central Park…this motivates me to be diligent in finding those ways. Thanks!

    • Brad Gray July 1, 2018 at 12:32 pm - Reply

      I really appreciate you sharing this, Beth. Thank you!

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