I had a great weekend at the Illinois Mennonite Conference Annual Assembly in which we focused upon being Co-laborers with God in God’s Service. There was great preaching, great conversation, great engagement in workshops, great food – it was a very good weekend.
And then I came home – and I began to be overwhelmed with the tasks and “duties” of ministry. I received emails and phone calls that presented life as it normally is – with struggles, issues, and problems. Monday was still great as I took a Sabbath day to rest, hike, and reflect on the weekend, but then Tuesday morning came and I felt overwhelmed entering into the day.
I received some email and phone communications that added to the weighty-ness of the day – and all I wanted to do was go home. I worked on my usual Tuesday agenda preparing for my next Sunday morning message, preparing for an evening meeting, and so forth – just wanting to get done so I could get out of the office for a few hours before the evening meeting. But then I remembered: there is still Missional Matters to write, putting my message from Annual Assembly on the internet so those who requested it could have access to it – this day is just getting heavier and heavier.
And then I looked at my bible sitting there on my desk and I realized I was taking charge of my day – failing miserably at it – and I was not making room for the Spirit in my life.
I set everything aside – stepped out of my office, and opened Scripture to read and to pray. I needed to be reminded that it is not about me, it is about what God is up to in the world. I needed to be reminded that I am not about my tasks, but about what God would have me notice, what God would have me say and do. I needed to be reminded that I am called to participate with God in what God is doing, whom God is embracing all around me – and that to be open to participate with God, I need to make room for the Spirit of God, for the Spirit to take hold of my life, my issues, my day, my tasks and re-rhythm them in light of the rhythm of the Spirit.
Days often get the better of us, but if I am to engage each day as a gift from God – including this Tuesday, then what better item can there be on my “to do” list than sit in the presence of the Spirit of God, being open to being in communion with Jesus, talking to Jesus about what is going on in my day, the people I am called to serve, walking with Jesus who invites me to find rest in him as I take his yoke upon me.
I am grateful that the Spirit got through to me today so that I might make space for the Spirit in my life.
May the Spirit of Christ fill you with the peace and presence of Jesus as you respond to the Spirit’s overtures in your life. Shalom.