A woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen, shaking frantically with what looked like a wire running from his waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away from the deadly current she whacked him with a handy plank of wood by the back door, breaking his arm in two places. Till that moment he had been happily listening to his Walkman.
“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 5 And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops. 7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.” II Timothy 2:1-7
Things are not always as they appear. Last week our ministry staff went to a conference and we made a retreat of it. But probably not the kind of retreat you’re thinking. We attended preaching and teaching and worship from 8-5 and after dinner on Wednesday and Thursday, we worked on the 2019 calendar until 10:30-11:00 p.m. This was grueling, but necessary. We discussed every ministry and program that our church has and the work and performance of every committee and team. I just lost most of you right there. Some are saying, “How boring?” Some are saying, “Why?” or “What a waste of time and money.” If you said that, you’re wrong. We were challenged, encouraged and inspired by the teaching and preaching. We were lifted up by the worship and prepared by the planning. We became focused through the evaluation and planning hours. You don’t farm without a plan. You don’t go to war without preparation. The retreat was the fact that we got away from the “affairs of this life.” The plan was for the staff to focus on our own spiritual needs, but also focus on the needs of our church in our prayerful planning.
I know we can always do a better job of communicating where we believe God is leading us, and we could always do a better job of listening, as well. Our desire is to join God where He is working. I trust that is yours as well. To get where God is working, we often have to let go of things like our will, our wants, our comfort, our plans and our schedules. The soldier must leave his home to defend his country. The farmer must sacrifice his schedule to reap the crop. Both need strength to get the job done. I challenge you to pray for your staff that we will be strengthened and prepared for the challenges we face. We need and desire your support as we seek the Lord and serve Him here. Pray that we will hear and obey Him and pray that we all will desire His Will above our own will, wants, ways and traditions. Please, whatever you do, don’t wack us!