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Stepping Away


Several years ago when I was on Sabbatical I wrote extensively about ministry maintenance.  I formulated documents, evaluative tools and reflective questions all pointed towards the question:  How does one sustain the vigor and the vitality of the YES!  we speak when we consent to discipleship.  In particular, I targeted leadership in the church.

You see, I am convinced that from the moment we consent to the daunting adventure of serving others as we follow Jesus, we are up against perils that would not come our way if we simply attended to our own interests.  As we step upon whatever mission field God knows needs our presence, we expose ourselves to the people and places that God knows may threaten to consume us.

That is why the practice of regularly returning to the center of our call is so critical.  That is why it is NOT faithful to go day after day, week after week and in the worst case scenario, year after year under our own steam.  We absorb the pain and poison of others.  As we face suffering, sorrow, injustice, and the forces of death, we offer all that we can to communicate the power of God’s infinite love and mercy.

And we are often worn out, stretched thin, layed bare and naked upon the mission field.

It is critical at that point (whether it occurs daily or over the course of years) to acknowledge our limit and step towards the healing balm of Christ, even if it seems to  lead us “away” from the mission field.  You see, it is not really “away” from that field.

The mission field is vast.  It surrounds us.  Still, Christ intersects all paths upon that field and gathers us in as Christ knows we need to be enfolded by God’s mercy — for our own good to be sure, but even more for the good of others.

If you ARE moving towards Christ you will most certainly receive what you need to empower you and refresh you for the Good of others.  And before too long your eyes, mind and heart (made new in Christ) will encounter the next one (or ones) you are to serve.

There is a beat that determines our pace, and it is set by God.  Paying attention to the rhythm is part of the stewardship of our call.  It is revealed to us as we look at how we are functioning.  It is even more apparent if we reflect upon our days and ask the question:  As I move through my days, am I leaving behind me a wake of joy, love and peace in the Lord?  OR…. am I leaving behind ripples of my own fatigue, despair and bitterness?

It is time for me to return to God’s healing place.  I have told our dear CCD coordinator, Pr. Amy, that I am going to step away from some obligations for a while.  One of those commitments that I am surrendering is writing on CCD.

Just for the record, I am not at the end of my rope.  I have not (to my knowledge) done any harm.  However, I have taken my spiritual pulse and I know that I am being invited to seek the solitude and simplicity of God’s heart in whatever way I can.

So for now…..  I am stepping away.



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