Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!
Capital campaign and Lent and 200th plans, oh my! Shetler discernment and worship and women’s retreat, oh my! Hunger ministries and Christian formation and preschool, oh my!
Maybe it is just me, but sometimes when there are a lot of things going on, I cannot help but think of this line from The Wizard of Oz. While I cannot remember the last time I saw the film or play, this line pops into my head from time to time.
You might have noticed, and it is likely that you are also quite involved in the church happenings right now, but there is a lot going on. It is exciting. And, it is a lot to think about how it is all going to come together.
There is also a lot happening in our world. There are the horrors of continued wars and the devastations of natural disasters. We want to help, but where do we even begin?
Counterintuitive as it is, perhaps these are the moments when we most need to stop and pray. I have to admit this is not always my first inclination. It can be easy to switch gears to a to-do list and analyze how and when things will get done. Yet, God is (slowly) teaching me that this way is not the way our Good Shepherd calls us to. Perhaps you, like me, want to analyze and make the most of each moment, thinking that we can rest better once we just ‘get some things done.’ Yet, this cycle is not sustainable. Better yet, this mode relies on us, and not on God.
However, when we pause, we are reminded that the work, the outcomes, and everything in between do not rest in our hands, but in God’s hands. We are reminded that we were not created just to work, but that our chief purpose is to glorify God and to enjoy God forever. When we pause, we are placing our trust in our Father’s hands, we are re-centering on our Creator, and we are reminded that we are not alone.
When we pause, we are reminded that all belongs to God and that we are called to tasks and ministries that are larger than ourselves. God calls us and, oftentimes, we don’t know where it is going to end; however, if we discern that our Good Shepherd is calling, we can trust that the Spirit will provide. The provision is not always on our time schedules or exactly how we would have imagined it. But, we are reminded that by the power of God’s work within us, God is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
So, as Lent is nearing and as there are a few things going on in the life of the church and in the life of the community and world, I ask that you look for the little ways you can help. And, above all, I ask that you pray. Pray that God’s will may be done, that the Spirit might guide our congregation, and that Christ’s love and light might shine in this city.