…but yesterday was different.

 

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I probably should not tell you this, but yesterday I took it easy. I sat on the front porch for a while and read, drank coffee and pondered the week ahead. It was a unusual step for me as a recovering ”Type-A” personality. The morning is usually filled with email, Facebook messages, writing and whatever else appeared overnight. I try to get a jump on everything because as a recovering “Type-A personality,” I must continue to work or the world will end…but yesterday was different.

There is a big few months ahead; meetings, travels, studies, wedding to preside over, sermons, book deadlines, article deadlines, visits, Fall Bible School, teaching opportunities, speaking opportunities and still the other things outside of ministry, all of which I cherish as they happen…but yesterday was different.

Too often it is the behind the scenes aspects of ministry which wear ministers out. Having entered full-time ministry in 1997, fresh out of college, I never imagined what the behind the scenes work involved. There are the aspects of work that everyone sees, then there are others. Over the years there are things I can tell no one about, not even my wife. There are things that will go to the grave with me; private things shared with me that no one but the person telling me will ever know. The mind trap of ministry can take its toll from time to time…but yesterday was different.

Ministry is a full-time life goal, not a weekly to-do list. Almost every minister I know has the ability to see things years down the road, while most people see the here and now. Ministers are dreamers, planners and thinkers. We will ask questions to take the discussion in the way we would have it go, only to give the credit to someone else. The hearts of ministers are not on themselves, but they are on the future of people. It is a burden we bear, but a burden we enjoy…but yesterday was different.

Yesterday was different because I took a break. I sat on the porch with my tablet, journal and coffee in front of me and just thought. I thought about the rewards and benefits of ministry. I thought about the friends lost over the past year because of stances I took and friends gained because I took an unpopular stance. I thought of the way my children are growing and maturing and how soon (after they are 30! Ha.) they will be beginning families of their own. Each thought brought a smile to my face.

Yesterday was different because I stopped. I stopped to see the world around me and consider the ways the Lord has worked, and is working in my life. Have you stopped? Stop and consider how you have been blessed more than you know.

Oh, and one more thing, just because I stopped, the world did not end.

Just my thoughts,

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We must remember that even Jesus took a break:

The Withdrawals of Jesus

  • Matthew 4:1: Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness.…
  • Mark 1:35: Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place, and there He prayed.
  • Luke 4:42: Now when it was day, He departed and went into a deserted place.…
  • Luke 6:12: Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
  • Matthew 14:13: When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself.
  • Luke 5:16: So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
  • Mark 3:7: But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea.
  • Mark 6:31: And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile.”
  • Luke 9:10: Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
  • Matthew 14:22ff: Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on a mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.
  • John 6:15: When Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.
  • John 7:53f: And everyone went to his own house. But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
  • Mark 7:24: From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it.…
  • Matthew 17:1: Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves …
  • Mark 9:30: They departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it.…
  • John 10:40: And He went away again beyond the Jordan.…
  • John 11:54: Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness.…
  • John 12:36: These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.
  • Matthew 26:36: Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane …
  • Luke 22:41: And He was withdrawn from them.…

Morgan, R. J. (2000). Nelson’s complete book of stories, illustrations, and quotes (electronic ed.) (709). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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