Standing Still to Move Forward
Often in life…we are busy. Usually, by the time you hit 25, it seems like you blink and then you are 45. Now, it feels like even the little ones are busy by the time they hit first grade. Between family obligations, friends, work, school, and extracurricular activities, we are constantly moving. In this new millennium, distractions are a way of life. One can easily loose themselves with a smart phone for hours at a time.
I have noticed that without effort on my behalf, years and even decades will go by in a flash and all of us will inevitably get faced with the question, “What did I do with the time” or “Where did the time go.” Those of us that feel that we are “spirit filled and about God’s business”, would typically fill that time up (with purpose) by being as active in our church as possible. This would include the choir, health unit, Pastor’s committee, First Family support group, deacons, deaconess, junior deacon, ladies of grace…you get the picture. There is so much work to do in the Kingdom, and I get it. What makes me stop and intrigues me the most is the question of, “Where is everyone going? What’s the goal?”
Even as Pastors, we get caught up in trying to be everywhere at any and all times. We get into a cycle of caring for and shepherding our flock. We are responsible for our patrons and members and must be a good steward of what we have and move that forward. But, I have noticed that often times we mistake activity for progress. We think that if our Sunday schedule is not full, we are not doing the work of God. We think that if we aren’t out in the streets knocking on doors every Saturday, we aren’t witnessing or spreading the “good news”. The harvest is plenty and the laborers are few. But, do we know what harvest we are laboring for? We all want and strive for a deep and personal relationship with God. We go to church, we pray, and we read the Bible. And, I am sure that we all feel that we speak to God and God speaks to us on a consistent basis. But, have you ever tried to have a conversation in the middle of a crowded and busy street with cars going by and honking their horns, and fire truck sirens going off, and a large group of children standing around you after they had a large bowl of a sugar intense substance? It is almost impossible. That is what I find it is like in most of our lives. We are trying to hear God amongst a litany of distractions. Sure, we will take a few minutes to pray. And yes, we will follow our biblical devotion religiously.
However, how often do we take the time to just stop and try to listen? How often do we stop the noise and influence of our friends and family to just sit and think of what God thinks our next move should be? A lot of the things that we pray for and ask God for are right in front of our face and within grasp. The problem is, just like someone trying to give us directions on a crowded and noisy street, the specifics get lost due to the noise and distractions. Sometimes, we are too busy trying to copy a format from another church that has 15 different ministries. We do this, thinking that this may be the key to growing my ministry. After all, it’s working for them…right? Just like one should never copy someone else’s life patterns, we should not try to emulate another organization thinking that it will be the key to what we are striving for. A lot of times, less is more and everyone’s ministry does not look the same. Everyone’s life isn’t the same. Everyone’s calling is not the same. If we would take the time to be still and let God speak, we will hear what our path to our purpose may be. Sometimes, when things are hectic and maybe we are not getting the results that we hoped or believed for, we need to step back and quiet the noise around us.
A lot of our friends, families, and church members have the best intentions and want to see you happy and flourish. However, to feel fulfilled, one needs purpose. The only way to find that purpose is to hear God clearly. As a pastor, you not only need to be still to hear God for your own purpose…but you need to hear the way to find the purpose of your ministry. Moving…does not equate to moving forward. You can move in a circle and not know it. Sit still and hear God tell you what step to take next. Movement with intent is progress…movement with purpose is powerful. Take the time to hear God. That moment of stillness will propel you forward to live in your purpose that you were put here for.
Be blessed, Pastor Cynthia Rogers