It’s hard to imagine that exactly seven days ago I had just returned from my week’s break in Malta. Taking a week’s complete break in the midst of a busy life was a first for me – I have to say, at age 39 that is not something I am particularly proud of – what I wasn’t expecting though, was the entirely foreign experience of re-entry. By day four after returning it felt as if I had been back for 2 weeks already and Malta was a distant memory! On reflection I realised it was because I was attempting to achieve 2 weeks work in 4 days. A friend reflected that I seemed to be working faster than had done for months. I spent most of the last week feeling pressured, frustrated, anxious and ended the week exhausted. I have concluded that I didn’t do the re-entry transition so well!
I have just finished a phone call with a friend. We were sharing together this powerful dilemma in which we and many others find ourselves. We each have a God given purpose or assignment – multiple ones would be my guess. And God has given each one of us gifts and skills, intelligent minds, curiosity and imagination, networks, access to information and the ability to problem solve. He has given them all for us to use towards our purpose… he didn’t say ‘now switch them off and go for it!’. My question this week though, is how do I live the life that God has called me to, with all that he has given me to live it, without doing it all in my own strength? How do I do it in his strength – without falling into the trap of sitting there like a lemon?
I shared last week from Malta’s history about the Knights of St John. It’s interesting that they started out as a catholic order expressing God’s kingdom by running a hospice offering care and hospitality to the poor and needy. Then things changed and they moved to bringing God’s kingdom through force and battle. It is not mine to judge, my point is that I see a lot of me in that. I love God and I want to see his Kingdom come, but sometimes there is a fine line between doing things His way, in his strength and doing things more or less his way but in my style and strength… which turns out not to be so much his way after all. As is always the case, nothing any of us can do will derail God’s purposes or stop him from being Lord of the Universes, he still uses our mishaps and detours, our best and our worst efforts, and he speaks to us and reveals his nature to us through it all. In the story of the Knights and in all our stories I guess, amidst all the human endeavour, we can see glimpses of God hand at work calling us on a pilgrimage to find him and discover what we were made for.
The picture i am getting is that there is a way of doing life, its the way God meant it to be done and I didn’t quite find it this week, I hope to find it soon. My hunch is that its not necessarily slower or less exciting, but rather less frustrating and much less exhausting!