Saturday, December 7, 2013

When ministry doesn't go as planned...

Today I'm having trouble getting anything done. At 3pm I've done....well nothing. I did eat, which was a big accomplishment, because it was my first meal since Wednesday (being sick trumps my love of food), but let's be honest, normal people do that everyday. So even though there are plenty of things to get done, I'm not doing any of them.

Here is what I think has me stuck in....stuck mode (the sophisticated term for my condition):

I think there must come a time in everyone's ministry where you stop to wonder if what you are doing is actually making any productive progress at all. You go go go and then you take a tiny vacation and you come back and find that the hope of making a difference has fallen into a well that even Lassie can't save it from (ok, that's too dramatic, but I liked the imagery so we are going with it). Sure, in your heart of hearts you know that you are doing a good thing, that it is important work, and that the fruits of your labor might not be seen for generations, but let's face it, it gets discouraging in the short term!

Case in point: There are always small victories and things to get excited about around here, but what I really long to see is the power of Christ transform my students completely, and right now it seems like they are all just straddling the fence. They dip their toe in greener pastures and then get pulled right back to where they were. And you start to wonder if you even know what you are doing. Am I accomplishing anything? Or am I just treading water that will barely feel the ripples of my hard work when I move on? Am I the problem here? Is this time worth it?

So that's what I'm working through right now. I'm slightly discouraged, but praying hard for my students and what God wants with all of us here. And I know that if my only purpose here is those small conversations, the ones where I get to speak truth into the pain and love into the hurt, then that has to be fine. Because I'm not here for glory and success stories. I am here to be faithful to what God has called me to do, to the best of my ability.

And I must trust Him with the results. 

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