It’s (almost) fall. As much as I love falling leaves, pumpkin cookies, and crisp morning runs, I have to wonder how often my schedule will allow me to enjoy them. Three kids, two parents, one activity each – go!
Life gets busy. Demands are never scarce. Time is never plentiful. I need a heavenly perspective with a large dose of wisdom if I’m going to own the right priorities on days that end in y.
There’s lots of activity which leaves us feeling hollow, spent, and weary. For several years I’ve poured into busyness. I thought it made me more important but really it just made me tired. I want this school year to be different. I dropped some obligations and I’m purposefully trying to slow down. I’m vying to constantly remember that saying yes to one thing always means saying no to another. I simply cannot be two places at one time. I never, ever want to exchange discipling my own family for another. God gave them to me. What kind of steward would I be if I recklessly ignored their needs in the name of service or altruism?
I think I’ve finally realized that when I live my daily life within the will of God and the context of faith, ministry is natural; organic; fitting to my sphere. (Notice I said natural, not easy.) I’m no longer trying to sing with laryngitis or lift with broken arms. My ministry fits my gifting. God brings the opportunities and I don’t have to manufacture them at all. It’s not formulated; it’s familiar. And, before some would assume it’s a ticket to be lazy and wait for sanctified souls to fall into my lap, let’s be clear. It’s anything but. Organic Christianity must be practiced not only according to my life position, but with passion, prayer, and great purpose.
Last night I had a nightmare. Two people very dear to me died. The clouds parted and the heavens sought to retrieve them. One was bound for heaven and one for hell. I had no idea which was headed where. It was unbearable.
In light of that, I really have to ask myself if my priorities are truly productive – kingdom-wise. I mean, I don’t wear a badge that says, “Stop me for prayer,” or “Christian in vogue.” But here’s how I know: I’ve got scores of soccer moms who need a friend and discipleship. I’ve got family, friends, children, and parents who have far more spiritual, physical, material, and emotional need than I could ever measure. Is it wise to spend my time deciphering new needs? Needs I haven’t even thought of yet? Won’t God call me to something specific if he so desires? Hasn’t he already? I tend to think so. The closer I get to Christ, the closer to home my mission becomes – always. Call me narrow, but I just can’t get over the impact one godly child makes in the world.
Discipleship means investing in a person with whom the relationship does not have an expiration date.
When I was young in the faith I went to church almost every night. I did “ministry” all the time, everywhere. But I learned that ministry at home is far more necessary than ministry anywhere else. If I say yes to ministry far-removed from my real life, that which I hold dear inadvertently gets a big, blaring, “NO” from me. And I’m no longer willing to accept that from myself.
Sounds selfish, huh? Where’s my team spirit, right? Someone has to fill the ministry rosters don’t they? Yeah. I’ll take my turn. But I can’t forsake the best for the good. I must not. I will not.
Tonight is soccer practice. Last week Maylee cried the entire hour and refused to participate. Perhaps she’ll change her mind tonight. Perhaps she won’t. One thing is for sure. She’s going to learn not to tell Mommy she wants to do things she really isn’t committed to. Maybe her tenacity in refusing will grow patience in me; in my husband. Maybe our persistent love and encouragement toward her will evidence grace to others. Maybe it will be a witness when our family prays with her when she starts to freak out. I don’t know, but I do know one thing. There’s work to be done – in me, in my family, and in the world. I imagine it’s wiser to start with me and work outward instead of taking on the world and tracing my steps back home. In fact, I know it is because I’ve already done that. Lesson finally learned.
Happy fall. Don’t freak out when you see your schedule. =D