When I was being introduced as the new Director of Outreach at our church, one of the pastors told the leaders of the church that he believed I was the person to take outreach ministry at our church to the next level. What he meant was that God was going to use me to do new things in outreach. What I heard was that I was going to produce lots of things for God in the area of outreach. And so I quickly relaunched one ministry and began pressuring myself to see transformation come at a more rapid rate in another. I thought that "next level" meant bigger and better. Now I am reevaluating, and I wonder if I even know what the next level looks like. I thought I had drawn a bead on the next level, that I knew what everyone needed. Now I'm waiting and seeing, unsure of myself.
I think what I really want is to not feel tired inside anymore. But I don't think getting rid of my weariness is best. Tiredness of soul is leading me to new places. It's forcing me to learn patience and to embrace the teaching of Christ when He compared the Kingdom of God to a seed. A seed is small. It's life begins beneath the surface. Nothing that the farmer does can make the seed grow. Often it seems like nothing is happening. But in time, life appears, pushing its way up through the soil. And then there is still more time before fruit appears, and still more time for the fruit to ripen, and how any of these things happen are really a wonderful mystery. And in order for a seed to bring life, it has to first fall to the ground. I think that something in me is dying, and in God's time, the seed that is falling is going to grow into something new.
I want to take Jesus as His word, rephrased so wonderfully in The Message: 28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." *Matthew 11:28-30
Living freely and lightly in the unforced rythms of grace sounds great to me.