Wednesday, October 5, 2016

At the Speed of Life

Being a minion is always hard work.  Time flies by at an alarming rate of schedules, deadlines and innovation.  The first challenge is always placing healthy boundaries so that the ever unmet needs of a charitable organization (shaped by the ever growing number of people they serve) doesn't burn you out.  The second challenge is managing the effects of long term service.  Pastors and ministry leaders take sabbatical for a reason.  Service is exhausting.

I have some wanderlust and my fingers itch to be doing something.  For me, that means that I tend to get my fingers busy doing something and then I'm in direct conflict with my wanderlust.  I know that sometimes life is about repetition.  So how do you keep your charity work from feeling like drudgery.

Doesn't that word sound awful.  Drudgery.  It makes me feel exhausted just saying it.  That idea of slogging through an endless mud pit just trying to find the energy to keep lifting one foot and then another to make your way forward.

Life is about relationship not tasks.  For a personality like mine, that's really hard to remember.  I have to work at remembering to focus on the people I care about.  In the past, I've tried to schedule time but lately I've noticed that I'm remembering to put less and less people on my schedule.  I'm already exhausted and I find the effort of connecting exhausting.  Is it any wonder that my service feels like a drudgery?

If you're feeling like work, service or life is a drudgery I encourage you to take a look at the priority you've placed on relationship in your life.  This isn't about being a social butterfly or pretending to like people you don't.  This is about plugging into the life giving resources God has given you.  Most of us need a reminder to shift our focus solely from tasks to the people we are ultimately doing the tasks for and with.  I'm not saying you lose sight of the finish line, I'm asking you to take your eyes from the line and look into the cheering crowd, glance at your fellow racers and soften your gaze.

Have you see this video.  It's showing different camera focus.  It's a great analogy for life. Sometimes, laser focus is necessary.  It allows you to see a limited amount in great detail.  Sometimes a wider angle is necessary.  It gives you more information in more general detail.  We get stuck seeing things from our favorite perspective.  If you're finding that life is feeling a little drudge-y, ask yourself where your relationships are?  Put your effort into breathing life and focus into your people.  

When was the last time you ask your friends how they were doing and really listened?  When was the last time you gazed into your loved ones face and told them how much you love them?  When was the last time you had a little fun with real people in the same room as you?  

Yeah, me too.  So that's my goal.  I need to shake off the exhaustion that comes from drudgery and reach out to the people in my life.  I need them and they need me.  I'm not serving people with tasks, I'm serving them with care and attention to the fact that they are people.