The last post ended with more questions than answers. I’m ok with that because I think that much of life in pursuit of Jesus is just that. However, for our mortal minds, a lack of resolution can drive us crazy … or simply keep us there. I have not learned much about rest over the years except that I am terrible at it and need more. What I do know is this; In my experience, rest equals relationship. What I mean is that my relationship only develops, matures, and moves forward during times of rest. When I’ve been consumed with creating the stuff that we’ve come to believe draws us closer to our Creator, ironically I become more distanced. I run on my own power. I use my own limited pool of wisdom or pursue those who seem to have found it. I put things in place that imply you must force them into your life to be all that you can be in the name of Jesus. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that there is no value in programs. They can actually be quite valuable. But the question that needs to be asked is whether or not they are equipping or enabling? Are they equipping the saints or enabling and encouraging the illusion of a pursuit of Jesus.
I’ll give this example; If I am seeking to recover from an injury or illness, I am going to seek out someone who wants to get me healthy and get me out. Unfortunately, there are a those in the healing professions whose methods and beliefs actually draw in patients to a life time (or at least a years subscription) of their services. Church communities can be guilty of the same, with programs that never end and the subliminal impression that unless you are part of their thing, you are doing a less than adequate attempt at pursuing spiritual maturity. I have been guilty of this, with my own impression that the attendance at one of my things somehow validates my position and my abilities. Confession time … it’s exhausting for both parties.
Perhaps a better idea would be to walk alongside instead of “in front”. Perhaps my time would be better spent, rather than creating programs, in creating community and space for people to live out something that I can help them become equipped for. I’ve been so busy, as have many in my role, creating churches that we’ve have neglected to create community. Church is where you go, community is something that you are part of, where you know and are known. I’ve given them something to do, not something to be.
Give time to rest and to be and to reflect. Allow space for them to speak to God and for Him to speak to them, rather than feeling that my voice is somehow more beneficial than His. I know that when I rest I hear, and when I hear I speak more intimately and when I hear and speak, the relationship deepens … and it is in those times that God takes me to places a program never could. It was this process that led me into ministry. It was this process that led me into every new place that God had for me. It is this process that leads into and through bible like wanderings and adventures and risks and rewards and has allowed me to pray life altering bold and reckless prayers. These seasons of rest have sustained and energized me, and yet it is so not in my nature. I confess to an exhaustion and weariness that is completely of my own making.
So there is no answer here. It’s going to take a newly established season of rest and listening to really find my way. The least that I can do in the mean time is allow the same for those in my community.