Oh Now I Remember!

Sometimes, we need reminded of the very things that we already know quite well. I know that my husband loves me and is my biggest supporter. Yet, sometimes, I need a reminder in the form of words directly from him. I know that Chipotle chips are incredibly delicious while at the same time not so good for me when I eat the whole bag. A simple calorie reminder does the trick to get me back in line and remind me why I do not need to purchase a bag every time I drive by!

This past week I am reminded of why I love the call that God has placed on my life. I know that I love it. Yet, the hectic schedule, the phone calls/texts, emails, visits, and such 24/7, and the never ending “need to plan this event or service” list sometimes leave me disappointed in myself and asking the question “what the heck are you doing?!?”

Out of the last sentence came last week’s post. Where has the time gone, why haven’t I spent more time (as in hours a day) reading and writing, what am I allowing to get in the way of my call to God?  Could you hear the proverbial finger being shaken at me like the schoolmarm questioning the impish child?

Then the reminder came from two sources: the words of God’s Spirit speaking to my spirit and the words of Brennan Manning in “Reflections for Ragamuffins.”

God’s Spirit says “Cut yourself some slack, Tress!! It isn’t like you were sitting around doodling and ignoring the world passing you by. You were taking care of My people” (For the record, God frequently speaks to me like my friends speak to me but with a lot more love in his reprimand! J)

Brennan Manning says (page 292):

The compassionate love of Jesus at work within us empowers us to

            Suffer with

                        Endure with

                                    Struggle with

                                                Partake of

                                                            Be moved in the depths of our being for the

                                                            Hunger, nakedness, loneliness, pain,

                                                            Squalid choices of, and failed dreams of

            Our brothers and sisters in the human family.

To which Tress says “hmmmm… in the busyness of the past month, what have I spent my time on? What has robbed my time of sitting, reading, studying, writing? What on earth HAVE you been doing?”

As I continued reading Manning, I come across these words (page 295): “The unglamorous and little-publicized works of mercy: the ministry of small things, feeding and sheltering, visiting the sick and incarcerated, educating, correcting, speaking a healing word, bearing wrongs, listening creatively, counseling, washing dirty feet, praying with people, are all ways of living the life of compassion. This is no minor matter.”

At that, a peace came over me. A relaxation. The guilt was gone. I realized as I reflected on this past 6-8 weeks how much of my time was spent feeding and sheltering my family, visiting church members who are sick or homebound, prepping and preaching on Thursdays and Sundays, counseling (correcting, listening, guiding) individuals, writing letters to prison inmates, praying with and for others, and just simply doing the compassionate ministry of small things.

These are no small matters.

Like the reminder that I need occasionally from my husband, the reminder that I needed now of why I love what I do – even when the time seems endless and I feel like a hamster on a wheel – I am offered the humble honor of serving a wide variety of people in expansive sets of circumstances – EVERY SINGLE DAY. There’s no boredom of the same ole same ole. I serve and grow in relationship with people I would have never otherwise known if I were not living this call upon my life.

 There is the ever-changing drama of living within the Kingdom of God in which I am afforded the opportunity to love others, serve beside, laugh and weep with, and partake in. And I would not give it up for anything.

So, cut yourself some slack Tress! Pursue excellence in serving and let go of the perfection that you’ll never attain. Enjoy the rolling waves of ministry and be reminded GOD LOVES YOU IN ALL OF IT!

For you, my readers, what do you need to cut yourself some lack with?