I’m not good at having nothing to do.
I’m very good at getting stuff done.
“Just sit and relax,” is much harder to hear than, “I have a big, stressful job for you.”
As I’ve transitioned roles at church over the last year, I’ve become more hands off of the hard work that gets done day-to-day, and my arms now stretch widely over large areas of ministry that extend across our four campuses.
I first experienced this change last fall as I sat in my living room recliner while a team of adults and students prepped a bonfire event at the church—a mile from my home. It was horrible. I held my kids on my lap and hugged them tightly, because my muscles needed something to do, and I needed a reminder that I still had important work to do. Not being there was much harder than being there. Sitting at home itching to be there was much harder than running around like an Energizer bunny with an adrenaline shot for three hours.
Tonight was similar. Tonight I simply attended a fundraiser for a student mission team. I didn’t lead it, plan it, or advertise it. The other leaders did it all, and did it exceptionally well. I sat. I ate. I enjoyed the show.
And a few quiet tears rolled down my cheeks.
I wasn’t needed. And that made me feel like I didn’t matter.
I suppose that reveals the pride and self-centeredness of my heart.
Then, three young men came up to close out the evening. As I watched two of them, Elijah and Travis, I was seeing clear flashbacks in my brain of two high school boys walking through my front door for small group. Tonight they sang about how God makes beautiful things, and at the risk of sounding like a really creepy 30-year-old woman talking about 20-year-old guys, I thought of the beautiful things God had created in front of my eyes. I looked at those two young men on stage and saw the beautiful worship leaders God’s made those high school boys into. And I was proud. And my insecurity continued, because if I don’t do the day-to-day work with guys like that anymore, then what do I do that is important? That was clearly important work. I can see the results of that.
But those three young men also played a version of, “Come Thou Fount.” I first worshipped to that song March 2001. It was my first mission trip, and the worship band played that song. That trip is a marker on my spiritual journey, a turning point. I raised my hands in worship for the first time. I prayed more than I’d ever prayed in my life. I saw God work in and through me, and others did, too. I got in the college van to depart from campus that Friday morning a wreck—spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I returned the following weekend a different person, a person God was calling close to Him, a person whom He would soon call to ministry.
Tonight, God reminded me that I’m still prone to wander, and that He still seeks me when I do, just like on Spring Break in Panama City Beach in 2001. This blog post reveals the wanderings of my heart into pride. I think God also reminded me, with timeless words and familiar voices, that He still has work to do in me and through me. It may require as big a change within me as was required on that first mission trip of mine—how fitting that the reminder would come at a fundraiser for a student mission trip.
I’m thankful for streams of mercy. Lord knows I need them.