Emily Teterud – Associate Marketing Director
You know how people have love languages? Well, I think mine is organization. But since that’s not an option, I settle for words of affirmation. Close second.
Anyway, a huge part of why I like organization is because of the amazing results and effects it has on productivity. I love to see results. There is a part of me, my creative side, that enjoys abstract things. However, when the abstract mixes with my work mode, I have a hard time computing. When information, emails, and processes get jumbled, sometimes I freeze up and have to really focus to understand what to do in order to make headway on a project. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this or not. It’s not fun for me.
Have no fear, this isn’t a how-to-declutter-your-work-life blog, although I find great joy in that. I see this concept of organization applying to my spiritual life and want to share some thoughts with you to see if it applies to you too. I think it just might.
I’ve decided it’s time to organize my spiritual life. That’s right, time to do some assessing and figure out just how spiritually productive I’m being. Because I’ve noticed something about myself—I am someone who easily gets interested in a variety of things! I saw this play out all through my schooling. Oh! Sports? Yeah! Sign me up! What? Choir? Sure! Hey! Student government! I like that! Worship team? Why not! Lead worship team? Ok! Mission trip! Woo! And the list went on. Same thing in college. The cool thing about those years was that it was (in my opinion) the perfect time to try a bunch of different opportunities to see what groups and activities I am passionate about. Ultimately, I see how it has shaped my focus now. But, because of my broad interest in ministries, activities, and initiatives, I see tendencies of what could be described as a spiritual “squirrel!” mentality pop up once in a while, and it gets me off target from what I am called to do (If you don’t understand the “squirrel!” reference, watch the Disney movie, Up, and then reread this blog).
The way I see this play out in my spiritual life and ministry relates to the enormous number of ministries and issues calling out for help. Are you someone like me who wants to help everyone!? Here’s a sad truth I’ve found—you can’t. I can’t. And it makes me sad, because I love to be involved in so many things. However, what I’m finding is if I do not take time to simplify and focus on what I’m called to do, nothing I do will get done well. Bummer news, right? Maybe. The more ministries or opportunities I dip my toe in to invest at a less-than-wholehearted level, the less opportunity others have to whole-heartedly invest in something they might be called to specifically! I believe God has gifted us uniquely and given us passions that will execute a variety of missions needing to be accomplished for His Kingdom. However, it’s not super helpful in my opinion if I am mildly interested and able to help in a lot of things. I think it makes sense to hone in on where I’m gifted and passionate, and then dive into ministry there. It’s way easier said than done if you’re like me and want to give your time and resources to many areas.
Part of this initial struggle stems from the overwhelming amount of need in the world. There are countless legitimate needs that need to be taken care of. You see it all the time—people asking for your help, your time, your money, your care. And my goodness, there are so many great organizations to help! But I get to the point sometimes where I feel so overwhelmed and then end up doing nothing. That’s not helpful!
So, instead of freaking out that I am not knowledgeable enough for every need, not strong enough to take on everyone’s burdens, not rich enough to pay for everyone to be taken care of, not free enough to spend time with everyone who needs help, I can rest. I can rest in the fact that none of my efforts will make a single bit of difference unless I’m first plugged into God as my source of power. Phew. One HUGE burden lifted. Now, I can rest in the fact that God has created each person with very specific gifting and passion to tackle the various needs in the world. We are a team! We are a body, and 1 Corinthians 12 has some great advice on this topic. The pieces each of us brings to the table make one body of Christ, and it’s such a beautiful thing when it works in harmony. When we realize this and start acting when God is prompting us, we will make progress.
Just because I’m resting in these truths doesn’t mean I’m resting…we have work to do! Let’s be efficient and strategic in our ministry so we can see some results!Click here for the photo credit on this post