Tired? Exhausted? Fatigued? Can you relate? You spend your entire day attempting to meet the needs of your family, staff, and attenders in the midst of crafting a teaching for weekend services. Who is taking care of you? Where are you finding rest? Where are you re-energizing your batteries?
I know I can relate. I am in the midst of an intense ministry season that seems to gain momentum rather than slow down. I find it harder and harder to summon the energy to care for my wife and engage my children. It’s not because I don’t love them. And it’s not because they are difficult to serve.
My motives are pure as I attempt to wade into the lives of the people I love and care for in my church. Unfortunately, they too often get the best of me. The drive home is merely an opportunity to decompress from my day. I walk into my home ready for a quiet evening. However, there is homework to assist with, meal clean-up, bath time, reading with the kids, and if I am lucky, a few sacred moments with my wife. Unfortunately, that can too often turn into a business meeting in which we choose which bills to pay, decide how to manage the kids’ schedule, or determine which fault we are going to hold against one another. Can you relate? So what happens?
You know the drill. You sit down and flip thru the channels or surf the web…just looking. No real intent to do anything, but just catching up on the news, sports, and maybe your favorite blog. But then it hits you. You get that tingly feeling in your stomach…kind of that nervous adrenaline rush. Your mind begins to race as you think about the sites you could visit. Things are tense with your spouse and she is sound asleep. What if I just take a peek? Wouldn’t it feel good to take care of yourself? I am entitled right? Am I really hurting anyone? Who will know?
I am amazed at how often I could be the main character in this story. Serving God is dangerous. We open ourselves up for attack. We get weary and we lose the ability to fight. But isn’t that an illusion? Did we ever have the power to fight? Who are you relying on to grind through temptation and remain obedient? Is it yourself?
Have you ever read Galatians 6.8? The apostle Paul tells us that when we sow to please the sinful nature we reap destruction, yet if we sow to please the Spirit we reap eternal life. Where is your perspective? Paul is pouring himself out for the Galatians to remind them that when they believed they were given the gift of the Spirit [Gal. 3.2-3]. It is the Spirit who enables each of us to live courageously and generously. That means when we believe we place ourselves under the Holy Spirit’s care and He enables us to produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Who are you relying on? Who is your power source?