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Three Country EHS Tour: Reflections on New Zealand

Posted on August 1st, 2013

Our 3 country, 6 city tour. First up was New Zealand. What does an “emotionally healthy speaking tour” look like? What are the unique factors that have to be built in – at least for us? How does the gift of limits apply to us as we step into this new arena? We arrived in NZ with a full cup and began a 3-city tour, in different parts of the country, each separated by a plane flight. This was akin to getting on the bus “SPEED” – with fifteen-hour days (EHL seminar from 9-4:30 and a 7-9:15 EH Marriage Seminar in each city.) We thought the travel days would be recovery days but they turned out to be a different kind of “work” – traveling by car and plane, encountering storms and 2 days of lost luggage, along with the unpredictable factors that come with a new culture. By the end of the week, we were sadly exhausted. Too many people, too much work, and too little silence and down time. One thing we do know: Centering prayer, silence, solitude, meditation on Scripture, along with relaxing space in our day, are the only way we can give out of our lives and marriage. The following insights from Bernard have been rich for us in these days: If you are wise, therefore, you will show yourself a reservoir, and not a canal. For a canal pours out as fast as it takes in; but a reservoir waits till it is full before it overflows, and so communicates its surplus…(canals) desire to pour out when they themselves are not yet inpoured; they are readier to speak than to listen, eager to teach that which they do not know, and most anxious to exercise authority over others, although they have not learned to rule themselves… Let the reservoir …take the pattern from the spring; for the spring does not form a stream or spread itself into a lake until it is brimful… Be filled thyself, then…pour out they fullness. (Selections from the Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, arranged and edited by Douglas V. Steere, p.24) 1. It is a marvel that whole churches and movements were doing EHS before we even arrived in NZ! 2. EHS touched a deep chord among pastors and leaders in each city. While we were having our own learning curve, so were pastor and leaders who attended the seminars. As one leader said, “I felt like I had received the price of my registration fee by morning tea.” It is a global message flowing from NLF, a global church. As another New Zealand pastor said to me, “This is the first time I did not have to translate an American teaching into our culture.” 3. Our last two days were much needed rest and relaxation, taking in the beauty and natural landscapes of NZ. It truly may be one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Our cups are re-filling and we look forward to a couple of more days before we speak again.

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