And time to rest.
Perhaps even do nothing.
Like a bit of extended Sabbath – that often-underused gift of God to Creation and to us, a divinely-mandated time to pray and to play.
Sabbath (and vacation) recharge the sometimes depleted batteries of our lives.
And equip us to get up and get going again.
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful gift!
But – now that I’m back from vacation, unlocked the church office door, and booted up the laptop……..
What if I got up and got going in a direction that is fruitless?
What if I got going in a direction that God really isn’t interested in me pursuing?
Frittering my life away on meaningless projects?
Do you ever wonder or worry about that?
I know I do.
Sound strange? That a pastor should worry about that?
I mean – here I am in a calling to serve God full-time.
I get to write “Rev Dr” in front of my name – that is , someone highly specialized in holy things.
Can you believe that even a “Rev Dr” can fritter away his time going in useless directions?
Yup, it’s true.
I could spend countless hours in studying details of Scripture which I’ve never investigated before.
I could become all wound around the axle of church management – keeping the wheels of the various groups and programs running without a squeak or a wobble; on the same road they’ve always been on.
I could commit to reading two new books every month.
I could commit to serving on this board or that.
I could…. well, I could be doing all sorts of things.
And you could probably make a strong case that each one of these things is a good, proper, valued piece of the life of a church pastor.
And maybe they are.
Maybe in the right measure and to a certain correct degree, yes they are.
But what’s at the heart of my life, my service, my calling?
Here’s not the time or place to lay out a detailed description of what that is.
But let me say this much –
If I’m coming back off vacation and end up winding my life up back to top gear, and spending all sorts of energy (maybe even the majority of it) in areas that are not at the centre of the Holy Spirit’s “radar screen” then it’s time for me to pack up and go to work at Walmart as a greeter (or something else, but NOT as a pastor).
Perhaps I’m writing this as a head-slapping reminder to myself to pay prayer-filled, scripture-focused attention to what the Holy Spirit is calling me to do and be here in North Grenville and at KCRC.
What parts of His great sovereign work does he want me to be focusing on?
And what parts does he want me to leave for another time, or perhaps for another servant of Jesus?
That’s something that calls for careful reflection and conversation with trusted, mature believers (three cheers for my accountability group, and for the men & women of KCRC’s council).
And perhaps it’s also a reminder to us as the Kemptville CRC community.
As we, together, emerge from “summer mode” and prepare to head into September, what will we be spending the bulk of our time and energy doing?
It may well all carry nice, holy-sounding tags and titles.
But will we be working most diligently at that which is at the centre of the Holy Spirit’s “radar screen” for North Grenville?
Will we take the time to wonder what that might be – for right now, Fall of 2015 and for us right here?
What does our Sovereign Lord want us to focus on?
And what part of his Kingdom Work does he want us to leave for another time, or perhaps for another congregation of Christ-followers here in NG?
I’m not calling for a major revisioning project – or a massive rewrite of the church’s mission statement.
Honestly – I’m not a huge fan of those things.
What I am encouraging is that each of us, and we collectively, pause before rushing forward like a herd of muskoxen into Fall busyness…..
…..pause, and pray for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide and focus what we do.
That our passions would line up with God’s.
And our efforts be in sync with his.
‘Cause otherwise, for our congregation and others, if we don’t this – regularly – might as well not only send me off to permanent vacation, but might as well do the same for the whole congregation. Lock the doors… for good. Which, I for one, DON’T WANT TO SEE HAPPEN!!!
Dear Lord Jesus, I believe you pour out your Holy Spirit to guide believers into all life and truth (John 16:12-14). I believe you did that in the first days of the Church, and continue to do that today.
Therefore, I ask that as you guided and prodded the early Church
– pushing them in certain directions, and blocking them from going in others –
please so guide and prod me in this new season of ministry.
And not just me, Lord.
Please do that for all my dear brothers and sisters at KCRC.
Do that for us individually and collectively.
Do that so that we may be in tune with your heart for this church and for North Grenville.
Do that so that we may be truly effective servants in your Kingdom.
Do that through our conversations together.
Do that as we read your word.
Do that as you whisper into our minds, our consciences, our dreams, our hearts.
Do that as you guide our circumstances.
Do that in divinely-guided “ordinary” events of life, and in the breath-taking miraculous.
However you will, please take me/us, guide me/us, and use me/us so that glory and honor woud come back to you this coming season as we now come out of vacation.
“Yes – use me Lord, use even me.
Just as you will, and when, and where.
Until your blessed face I see.
Your rest, your joy, your glory share.” (Psalter Hymnal #528)