With enthusiasm we devote ourselves to faithfully serving coffee, or food…or to setting the stage for worship…or to some other “doing”. Yet, sadly, in all our accumulated tasks we become deaf to the still small voice. The noise and clatter of our constant movement and compounded commitments drowns out both the supernatural and the obvious. We no longer notice the Spirit's prompting or we haven't the time to take heed. We no longer see the hurting and the lonely and the vulnerable around us. We are distracted by our own objective and our peripheral is skewed. We are so involved with material and temporal things that the eternal and meaningful become slighted: things like…our spouses, our children, our relationships with family and neighbors and friends.
In all our activity, time passes us. Opportunities pass us. And often the things we dub “ministry” are nothing more than recreational pastimes for churchgoers, and the maintaining of contemporary comforts and conveniences.
Are my conclusions drastic?
I don’t think so.
Then again, maybe we will find ourselves saying, “Lord, Lord…didn’t we do all these things in Your name?” I sometimes shudder at the consideration of what His response might be. Perhaps we do, in fact, seek Him and He will receive us. Yet, we remain guilty of a gross misappropriation of our time and thought and effort.
This is what I have observed and experienced. Not only do we neglect the important things God places in our lives – we fail to minister to our children and to our spouses, and often others around us…but we praise those who do the same. We define it as sacrifice and paint it holy. We admire the time spent in continual “service”, and remain ignorant to the end of it all.
May He open our eyes to see and our ears to hear and our minds to understand. May we learn to love rather than “do”. Although the two may appear similar or even the same, may we truly recognize the difference and commit ourselves to the better.