It's been quite a while since I've written here on Gentle Reformation...like most times when I let my commitments slide, I have a bag full of excuses hiding around here somewhere. But they all really boil down to busyness. When life gets this busy and my schedule seems to control me rather than the other way around, here are some things God teaches me.
Pride. I'm less important than I think I am. There's often a direct connection between my busyness and pride, as each line on my to-do list makes me feel a little more important. The longer the list, the greater my temptation to find my identity in my work or in other people's need of me instead of in Christ alone.
Discipleship. I need to follow Christ's example in striving to raise up more laborers in the kingdom. That Jesus spent so much time and effort preparing his apostles to lead and serve his church is not only amazing and humbling but also instructive. It's far too easy for me to want to do everything, forgetting that the best leaders equip and enable others to joyfully serve Jesus with their talents. Of course there are things I'm not allowed to delegate, but there is a whole church here full of people who want to serve Jesus. Is my busyness keeping others from serving Jesus well?
Effectiveness. That's the one word I've been asking from God more and more lately. According to God's providence, one of our elders prayed last Sunday during worship for the same thing for my work and ministry. I find myself longing for more effectiveness in my work. Some of that has to do with working more skillfully and wisely, but ultimately it has to do with the Spirit blessing the ministry of His Word in the lives of his people.
Sacrifice. Although I'm never called to sacrifice my family on the altar of ministry, I am called to sacrifice _myself _on that altar. If I lose my "me time", if I need to work late to get the sermon finished, if there are times when what I have to do trumps what I want to do...is that so bad? Isn't that part of the cross I'm called to carry as I follow Jesus? I understand the need for pastors to be well-rounded and rested, to have hobbies and healthy recreation. But I also understand that ministry is inherently sacrificial; if it were otherwise, how could it glorify the one who gave the greatest sacrifice?
What spiritual lessons does God teach you during busy times?