Growing up, I can remember something special about every 4th of July – my dad would cook BBQ and all the fixings for our extended family and friends to come over and enjoy. After slow roasting the pork all day, we would chop the BBQ before supper, and Pops would fry up some sweet hushpuppies. I can still hear those puppies sizzling as they plunge under the hot grease. My mom would be in the house making baked beans, cole slaw, garlic toast, and usually some stir fry vegetables to even out the meal.
As my brother and I would fix our plates, we would pile on the BBQ, hushpuppies, baked beans and grilled Texas toast. When we reached the end of the line, my mom would usually say “You boys need to get some of those vegetables.” However, with some strategic placement and artful food stacking, our response would be that we didn’t have any more room on our plates for veggies.
When I look over my summer, I see a full plate that doesn’t seem to have room for anything else. My work consists of ministering to almost 3,000 students from all over the country that have come down to New Orleans to do relief work through the MissionLab program. Ignite Mission has given me some great opportunities to travel and speak in churches and young adult events. With graduation in December, I’m getting my ducks in a row and filling out all the paperwork to prepare for my last semester. Throw Elizabeth and traveling in the mix and there’s not room for much more. Does that sound anything like your life?
Before I preach I always ask God to fill my life so that – in return – I can pour into the lives of the people to and with whom I am ministering. Yet, I feel that sometimes when I make that request of God, he says “Where can I put it?” My life is so full with other things that I don’t have room for God to pour into me. Think about this: Is it possible that we can become so busy for God that we forget about God altogether? Is the planning and preparation so intense for VBS that you forget the real reason you are doing it – to lead kids to the Lord? Are your mission trips so consumed with logistics and busy work that the message of Christ gets lost in the work for Christ?
It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a dose I need to take myself. We are about half way through summer, and I invite you to join me in trying something. Let’s push everything off of our plates for a minute, and allow God to pour into us, recharging us, equipping us, reminding us of our true purpose and reason for life – to bring Him glory and proclaim His glory to the entire world. I think if we do that, then whatever else we have on our plates will be put into the proper perspective and we can continue to do the work of the kingdom without forgetting the reason we do it.
1Cor. 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
Job 5:8, “As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause.”