Staring at a blank screen, wondering not what to say but how to say it. Verbose? Blunt? Come out with it then? One way or the other.
I've kind of been a mess. Not a cry-my-eyes-out-can't-cope-my-way-out-of-a-paper-bag mess or anything, just kind of disheveled, inside. Irritated at the apathetic nature of the church, it took awhile for me to realize that when I pointed that finger at others I was pointing three back at myself. Forgetting that I had a plank in my own eye bigger than the specks in the eyes of everyone else. "I'm tired," I told a dear friend, "of the fact that in nearly five years of ministry our average attendance hasn't changed. I'm tired of our collective offering always falling drastically short. I'm just...tired," I sighed, "of not feeling like there is ever going to be any change."
And because I feel like I am wandering around in some deserted valley, and because I cannot will the church to grow or give, I am restless.
Restlessness isn't foreign to me. More often than not I feel like I need to be doing something. But it's a very strange feeling for me where my entire life is concerned. It's one thing to feel like I need to get up and clean a toilet. It's another to search the Internet for some big life change.
Last week it was a general discontent with my education. I need some sort of job, I told myself. So that we can somehow make more money so that we can one day many decades from now retire. But how will I get a job that I like without additional schooling? I need to go back to school. All of my friends have jobs and master's degrees. And this had me popping all over the world wide web looking for a higher education program that interested me.
I could be a teacher.
I could be a writer.
I could be a phlebotomist. Except I hate needles.
I could be a checker at Walmart.
There is nothing major happening in my life. I'm not going through a contested adoption. I'm not moving away from all my friends and family and starting a new ministry. I'm not waiting on the results of a biopsy. I'm just living and in that I've somehow concocted the idea that I need to be more for Jesus.
I need to have a job.
I need to adopt a dozen orphans.
I need to do something really big for Him.
And, in wondering what the really big thing is, I think I've forgotten to do much of anything. In feeling, in my own, personal drama, like I'm not good enough, I've become sedentary.
But yesterday, in my own time with Jesus, I felt Him ask me a question. "What is the most important thing?" I knew the answer wasn't that I should have a really good job. Even if a lot of people around me have really good jobs. I knew the answer wasn't that I should be a better wife and mother. Even if a lot of people around are better wives and mothers. I knew that the answer wasn't even that I should be better at the ministries that I do. But in the quietness of my prayer I answered that the most important thing is that I lead people into a saving relationship with Christ.
And He told me no.
No. Try again.
I thought for a moment and answered, That I love you, know you, and worship you with my whole heart.
My wish for my children has never been that they have the best job, are the best man to the best woman, have the best kids or even that they run the most successful ministries. My prayer is always that they will grow up loving and knowing God. So why should my own life be any different?
My God is the God who provides. He is the God who heals. He is the God who sees. And whether I am going through a time of great trial or a time of great harvest or a time of feeling like I am doomed to wander the desert for forty years, He doesn't change. It is my heart that is prone to wander. Not His.
To know God. To love God. To worship God. This is all that truly matters. As for the rest, I need to stop comparing myself to others and I need to stop comparing my church to other churches. God has put me here for such a time as this.
And I will bring praise. I will bring praise. No weapon formed against me shall remain. I will rejoice. I will declare. God is my victory and He is here. All of my life, in every season, you are still God. I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship. -Hillsong