Saturday, July 16, 2005

Keep on Truckin'

Michael Spencer has encouraging words for all those who are weary and heavy-laden. Actually, he hangs his hat on a string of New Testament verses that lead to the unavoidable conclusion that victories sometimes come simply from endurance. This is refrigerator door stuff, but it won't all fit. The post is excellent, but here are the snips:

Sometimes, I don't need inspiration. What I need is just my sanity. I don't need verses that tell me I'm about to see a miracle. I need something that says God wants me to make it to tomorrow, and still be able to be useful. Sometimes I need to know that God doesn't always want me to be a martyr, but that he wants me to stick around, survive and serve him again.

Sometimes, I don't need to know how to succeed in ministry. I need to know that there is something on the other side of failure. I need to know that the cause of Christ matters, but that I matter, too.

I've collected some passages that fall into that category. I'm calling them "The Sanity Verses." All of them contain something that we don't hear enough about in descriptions of ministry: the comforting truth that, in the midst of all the important, spiritual stuff that matters and in the middle of rejection and failure in ministry.....I matter. I matter, too.

Matthew 7:6 Sometimes....I want to quit. I am discouraged a lot. I wonder what I am doing with my gifts. I get to feeling sorry for myself.
Mark 6:7-11 It will be the nature of the mission to keep going. Don't make plans to be a permanent resident; be ready to go at the drop of a hat.
Acts 13:45-50 It actually seems that if Paul and company hadn't said, "We've done all we can do here. We aren't going to burn out and blow up on people who don't believe," then a lot of people in the next town would never have received the Good News.
Acts 18:5-11 My sanity gets all tangled up with holding myself responsible for being funny and relevant and hip.
Philippians 3:12-16 There is no maturity in choosing to refight meaningless battles that amount to the raging of an undisciplined ego or a wasted war with fools.
Romans 15:20-22 ...the heart of the missionary impulse, the missional, incarnational energy of the Gospel, is to go where Christ isn't named.

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