Dwayne the tub, I'm drowning.
It's amazing how quickly we can go from swimming at a good stroke, with confidence and reasonably good form to the point of barely keeping our heads above water. The road from making headway to treading water is a short one. This has been the story of the last few weeks for me. A couple weeks ago, things were pretty smooth. I just came off the Leadership Summit with new ideas. Ready to focus on my part in advancing God's kingdom in more effective ways. Fastforward to this past week and we're talking SWAMPFEST '05. During this, God led me to a scripture:
2 Timothy 4:5 "But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, dispatch all the duties of your ministry."
- Finding myself overwhelmed, my mind gets really cloudy. I find that because everything seems so daunting I don't do anything that is important. I'll perform some menial tasks to avoid the huge mess in front of me. Paul reminds Timothy to "keep your head". At a breaking point I'll forget about task prioritizing and just start picking at the pile instead of being strategic.
- Ministry is tough work and we must "endure hardship." For some reason I had the idea in my head that things would be easy once I got out of "the real world". Yes, there are benefits to being in professional ministry, like a flexible schedule, but since I help lead in ministry, I'm under that much more attack. As John Eldredge often says, "We live a life opposed." Satan has leaders targeted.
- When I find myself completely stressed out and buried, it's usually because I try to do way too much on my own. I think of how geese work together and form the "flying V"(also a way cool, vintage, headbanger's guitar, I might add), depending on each other to take turns cutting through the hardest headwinds. I think that's what's being addressed in the "dispatch the duties of your ministry" part of the verse. Notice, he says to do the work of an evangelist (Timothy's calling/gifting) but to "dispatch" the other duties. Once again, this challenges us to be ruthless with our schedules as to what we can delegate to others vs. doing stuff ourselves.