This just in: the Centers for Disease Control now suggests that parents arrange for 18 immunizations plus the flu vaccine before their child turns nine months old. If only they could invent a shot for burnout.
Years ago I found myself in such a state. The needs of the congregation and community were great, but my supplies were not. I spoke with a very wise minister on our staff, a dear friend who had learned how to maintain spiritual health and psychological balance in the midst of demanding challenges. I asked how he kept his equilibrium and joy. His response: “Their need does not constitute your call.”
He was right: worshiping and serving Jesus constitutes my call. If I love him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, he will give me the ability to love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:37-39). If I measure success by the needs of others, I’ll never be finished or fulfilled. Our culture measures us by what we do and who we impress. Our Lord reverses the order: we are to please an audience of One and act accordingly.
My friend’s wise words were life-changing for me. I thought of them again today when reading the June 19 essay in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest:
“Our Lord’s first obedience was to the will of His Father, not to the needs of men; the saving of men was the natural outcome of His obedience to the Father. If I am devoted to the cause of humanity only, I will soon be exhausted and come to the place where my love will falter; but if I love Jesus Christ personally and passionately, I can serve humanity though men treat me as a door-mat. The secret of a disciple’s life is devotion to Jesus Christ.”
Are you focusing on the work of the Lord or on the Lord of the work?