Vacation is a dangerous thing.
It gives me time to think. Not that I don’t think at other times, but with fewer distractions of the office and other work related activities, I am free to explore deeper into my own mind and present spiritual situation. And the pic shows you what a great place in which to think I have found.
This year, I have decided to follow Jesus.
I am not saying I was not following Jesus before. The problem lies in how effectively I was following him.
As a full-time clergy type person, I have a variety of activities which happen. There’s the obvious worship planning for each Sunday… there’s hospital visits and home visits… there’s meetings. I have no problem with these.
But also, there are commitments to the wider church. I have meetings of Presbytery (2 a month since I am on the executive), there are a number of meetings at the Conference level which take me away from home 4 or 5 times a year for a couple of days each.
And then there’s this whole political part of the church. Where do we stand on this topic? How should we respond to that thing? And don’t get me started on all the posturing of people trying to promote their own agenda.
This stuff, while often interesting and a fun challenge, drains me of energy and sucks the life out of my spirituality.
I’ve been reading a great book called Mere Churchianity by Micheal Spencer of Internetmonk fame (He unfortunately died of cancer this past spring, his legacy lives on in the hands of others). He really digs into the fact the church has lost its focus on Jesus and is lost in promoting its own agenda. I can’t agree more.
I will remain involved with the wider activities as I have made commitments to them and will honour them. But I am also going to spend more time in my Bible to get closer to Jesus, and I hope to inspire some others to consider doing the same. I won’t let the politics take over, instead I will attempt to bring the focus back to the reason why we serve.
This first year of ministry has been a time to get my feet wet and explore what the church has to offer. But Jesus offers more, and I need to spend more time learning about him and getting to know him better so that I may serve our living God more faithfully and responsibly.
Will you come with me?