Finish the Race.

Often, people ask me how my job is going. That is a common question to ask. A normal question. Yet, I often have a hard time articulating “how my job is going”. Part of it is that I’m not great at small talking, and so this question has a lot of intricacies to it for me. So when I end up answering with “It’s going great” or “It’s crazy but good” it comes off insincere because there’s truly so much more swirling around in my head.

The other day I was talking to someone about my job leading the small groups ministry at my church and I think I finally put it into words what it feels like to work in the ministry world.

It is as if I am on the edge of a cliff and at any moment I could fall right off the edge. It’s this delicate balance between preparing the way for what God wants to do, but holding it loose enough that I’m not trying to control the outcome and the route to get there. It is recognizing that no amount of accomplishments or knowledge makes me any less capable of allowing sin to permeate my heart, mind, and therefore my actions. It would be naive to think otherwise.

For me, ministry comes with a lot of anxiety, because daily, I am having to face myself. I am my greatest weakness.

That is a heavy realization for me, but it’s true. Admitting that comes with a certain level of freedom though. It is a surrender. It is me seeing that as much as I want to be a one man band– I can’t be. I need God and I need people. I need people to keep me accountable, encourage me, and be present in my day to day life. I need God to give me insight, show me truth that will rival the lies dwelling in my heart, and I need his strength to give me courage that with him I can walk alongside the cliff and be okay.

God loves being able to help us look back on our precarious situations and see how he was there all along and that our finite perspective was not seeing everything there was to see. It shows his faithfulness and his sovereignty.

When I see a cliff and start to second guess myself because this seems risky, later God shows me that the ground below was so near that if I had fallen it might have hurt a little bit, but I would have been fine.

I am going to fall. There is no way to escape that. Trying to avoid failure is an endless race that I am not equipped to run.

The race I need to be concerned with is the one described by Paul in 1 Timothy 4:7-8:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

I am an over thinker to the max–overanalyzing every conversation and situation to death. I like to think I was not always this way. I believe it is the remnants of experiencing some painfully sobering relationships and situations, and trying to avoid feeling that pain ever again. Which is silly, but understandable (because most of us could say we’d like to not experience pain).

At this point, I am treading into several different wave lengths of thought so I am going to bring this home and write more on other parts later.

We can wake up everyday striving to control the uncontrollable or we can have faith that the unseen God is working in tangible and intangible ways. We can have faith that he’s entrusted us with responsibility and gifts not so we can keep them close and protect them out of fear of (insert your fear here), but so that we can be used to show people who he is.

Everything given to us belongs to God and he has called us to live as salt and light, which requires us to show up in the world.

Fight the good fight. Finish the race.

As always, thanks for reading,

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