Today, I want to share a little bit about some personal discoveries and reminders.
1. A reminder: What we read in the Bible cannot be for knowledge alone but for transformation. So if you have a question about something you’ve reading in the Bible, by all means seek answers but don’t only seek answers so that you can say, “Ah, I know,” but so you can say, “Ah, here’s what this is saying about the God I know and love who loves me more than I could ever understand. And now that I understand this, I can live with more faith and freedom in Him.” You won’t always find answers or the answers you like but the absence of an answer doesn’t cancel out a vibrant relationship with Jesus.
2. A discovery: While I have known and have wrestled with being a perfectionist for many years, and while I have realized how intricately tied perfectionism is to setting unrealistic expectations, I’ve recently discovered that some of my unrealistic expectations have been based on the desire for a more structured work life that mirrors a 9-5 existence. Pastoring isn’t 9-5. I knew that but I still expected to be able to create something that looked less weird. I didn’t feel good about exercising at 8am and not getting to a desk to begin working until 9:30/10am even if I’d been up at 5am working and even though there’s nowhere that I need to be at 8am neither is there anyone demanding that I sit at a desk at 10am. If I’d learned this a long time ago, the last 9 years would have been tremendously better. Thank God for insight and all the various ways He has opened my eyes.
3. A discovery: I really don’t like working from my office at the church. I like having the office. It’s great for meeting up with others. I even want to continue making it a place I enjoy. But when I’m by myself, that’s not a place I love to be. I’m an introvert but when I’m working, I like having other people around who are also being productive. So, if you happen to go by the church because you want to talk with me about something and you don’t see my car, I’m mostly likely somewhere else in town–visiting with someone, running and errand, at a meeting, or doing admin or sermon work in some portable space (Barnes and Noble, Donderos, my house, or a coffee shop). Just call or text and we’ll connect.
4. A discovery: Mondays are great sermon writing days. I don’t finish them on Mondays but I get quite a lot of research and note taking done on Mondays. This means I no longer take Mondays off. I’m trying to take Fridays off so that I’m more physically refreshed on Sabbath. This new schedule has made for better sermon time but it hasn’t worked well for a day off. Still figuring that out.
5. A reminder: We work best when we’re able to use our strengths but there are times we have to surrender and allow God to work through our weaknesses. I don’t consider myself a children’s ministry guru by any means. But I’ve known for much of the time that I’ve been here that our children and parents need more support. So, I’m digging deep and allowing the Holy Spirit to help me figure out all the people and material resources. I’m not trying to do this all on my own. Oh no. That would be crazy. I don’t have time to be crazy. 🙂
Discovering the truth about who you are is freeing and provides an emotional rest that’s necessary in this haphazard world. My prayer for you today is that you’ll allow God to do whatever it takes to help you see yourself more clearly. That may mean going to therapy (I love my therapist), extended times of prayer (they can be hard to make time for but they’ll open your eyes), going for 30 minute walks in the cold (ah, fresh air!), or something else. God will give you the strength to work through the discoveries you make, which are sometimes uncomfortable or even painful. And, in time, you’ll experience more peace even if storms are still active. Your faith will deepen, too. That’s golden.