Each Sunday evening after I finish whatever I have done that day – whether it is that I have had an extended day working or whether my workday ended at noon, I consciously turn the church over to God. Sounds audacious as I write it. “Turn the church over to God.” God graciously assumes control so I take Monday off.
God is totally in charge on Monday. Most Tuesday mornings I get up excited to see what has happened while I was off. Did God make the church grow? Have our coffers increased? Is there a new idea for a program to offer the “seekers” our church reaches out to? Occasionally, one of these does happen.
This morning, a cold Tuesday in January, the first Tuesday of 2010, I don’t have a clue that something is different – no potential members have left a voice mail or email; no brilliant new program fills my head to start my creative juices flowing. Just the opposite, I feel the weight of sameness: end of month report; a newspaper article is due; a few volunteer committees want more commitment from me; Saturday, the day I reserve for last minute sermon prep and bulletin publishing, is committed to a community walk. Though it has just started, the week ahead feels overwhelming. Twice, I am to be in two places at once – quite a feat especially considering I just discovered that my perpetual motion machine is on the fritz.
No matter – sameness, no creativity, broken machine – this is the most wonderful calling. Even when I am overwhelmed with detail work, I know that I could be doing detail work in a 9-5 office and be spiritually dead. If I were executive director of a worthy nonprofit, mountains of administrative paperwork might overwhelm me. I could have a board of directors who felt their job was to twist a thorn in my side.
Monday, God took care of the sameness – perhaps bored by it all – while I rested. This morning, we talked about my restful Monday (that means my praying and listening) and I took resumed responsibility for the church. It is far better than it was on Sunday though there is no outward sign of this improvement. Before I remembered to take a Sabbath, this job was overwhelming. Learning to take a day off has renewed my spirit; moreover, my day off is good for this new church.
This morning, at about 5AM, I thanked God for taking such good care of this fledgling community and took earthly control back.