April 25, 2010
Church planting requires focus, and hard work. Never a dull moment and never a moment of peace. The demands grow greater as the church begins to grow and soon we find that every waking moment is spent "doing" something in the church. "It's our baby and we have to make sure it survives and thrives." We have invested our lives into this work and so we get busier and busier trying to make it better and stronger. The fact is the harder we work the more buried, behind and busy we get. God has created us to have rest. Don't live life in the fast lane.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like the day always ends about three hours too early. There are some days that pass me by and I’m wondering what happened. Dance lessons, ball games, music lessons, homework - before we know it, bath time and bedtime. Where does the time go on weekdays? We as adults are busy with these daily responsibilities in our fast-paced society. Microwaves help prepare quick meals, drive-throughs provide food on the run and while an occasional evening of "running" is okay, a lifestyle of being on the run can be very stressful. In fact life on the run exemplifies most families today.
I have been the National Missions Director now for two years. I have discovered, it's not everything it was billed to be. Up early, on the road late, meeting hundreds of people and spending little time with family.
Does that resemble your life in any way? It does for millions of Americans everyday. Your day may not be exactly the same, but it’s just as hectic.
Here is what I am learning. I hope it helps you to avoid my pitfalls.
1. Constantly running at break-neck speed is exhausting in every aspect of life physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Our bodies can only handle so much activity and when we live a hurried life we will begin to see signs of this lifestyle become evident in our health. We suffer with personal illness and depression. Stress, heart attacks, constant illnesses of all kinds and chronic fatigue. Some of you here today are seeing doctors right now for things that are related to the constant stress which you allow in your life.
When Jesus was in the midst of His ministry he sent out the disciples to preach in the surrounding cities when they returned Jesus said to them. Mark 6:31-32 “Jesus said, come of by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest. For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat.” (Message) Jesus recognized that the body will wear down if not properly rested. In fact this is not a new concept. In Gen 2 We see God putting his stamp of approval on one day for the purpose of rest. He called it the Sabbath. In the book of Exodus, as He was giving the law to Moses, He declared, “Work for six days, and rest on the seventh. This will give your ox and donkey a chance to rest. It will also allow the people of your household, including your slaves and visitors, to be refreshed.” (NLT) God created this body and understands the effects of a hurried life. When we abuse our physical bodies because we are not treating them properly, it becomes a spiritual problem. 1Cor. 6:20 "For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's” (NKJ)
2. Living a life without margins breaks down the family. I have found that my children suffer because I am not there to give them the full attention they need. Pro 22:6 says, “teach your children to chose the right path, and when they are older, they will remain upon it.” (NLT) Actions speak louder than words. If you want your children to grow up living the hurried life, teach them early and the