Years ago I attended a small church and had for a long time. I was socially challenged, a loner with aspirations in a congregation of 70 people, four of which were my family. I desired to develop a relationship with the worship leader after having been a part of the team for several years. I put myself out there and took a chance, making myself vulnerable to him. Here was his response, “I’m sorry, I don’t have time, I am working on building a relationship with someone else.”
I was crushed. I had been evaluated and found wanting. The person mentioned went on to become another of the worship leaders in the church and I, the misfit, was continually pushed aside.
I know I had issues going in, deep wounds and trauma, but I was looking for something that I didn’t have, that I knew was missing. Relationship.
It’s funny how history repeats itself.
To quote the famous philosopher Yogi Berra “Its déjà vu all over again!”
I have some questions for you, are you to busy to give a damn? Seriously, have you flooded your life with so many meetings, responsibilities and busy stuff that you are constantly behind? Have you cocooned yourself off from some pretty dramatic needs to do your own version of isolation? Have you forgotten the dreams that first motivated you and allowed life to spin out of control and stifle what you thought you’d accomplish? Have you lost touch with real people, people who struggle, are conflicted and don’t always agree with your opinions? Have you surrounded yourself with “yes men” and their relative safety?
Do me the honor of a quick and honest personal assessment…I’ll wait.
There is great peace and acceptance when you know you are doing what you were meant to do isn’t there? When our passions collide with our equipping we can be very effective, we are driven and it’s to accomplish something worthwhile.
That is what I am finding for the first time. It has cost me most of my life, but I am turning the tragedy that was into a force that works for change in the world, my world.
I find a measure of peace knowing we have all been distracted to some degree. Maybe you got into ministry because of a deep desire to help people, unfortunately that is only 5% of what you do anymore, the demands are calling in a hundred different directions. We all have to make choices and live with them, the problem is that many of those choices aren’t made by us anymore. It’s the circumstance or the expectations of others as we become and do what they demand.
We run out of time.
As for me, I will take the rejection that I have experienced and use it for fuel to impact those who will listen. I will refocus my anger to education and help others understand the things they don’t want to see.
Have the good things you set out to accomplish morphed into something totally different, even ineffective? Have you crowded out the voice of the destitute and abandoned-instead catering to the demands of the influential and wealthy? Only you know the answer to that.
Something precious has been lost, but it is never to late to redeem the time…
If you have the time, some additional reading below.
James 2:1-13 The Message (MSG)
My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,” haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted?
Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down-and-out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—“Christian”—used in your baptisms?
You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. The same God who said, “Don’t commit adultery,” also said, “Don’t murder.” If you don’t commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you’re a murderer, period.
Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.