I Don't Always Drink Coffee at Midnight, but When I do I Blog...
I am sitting and blogging during a break between writing a lecture for the college class I teach and putting the finishing touches on a funeral service for a nice lady who was the mother of a good friend. As I have the most melancholy playlist ever created trolling through my earbuds, I am amazed that so much real ministry happens when you least expect it. There are times when you would rather sleep – get up. There are times when you would rather not – everything you do matters to someone. There are times when you don’t want to invest in someone long-term – invest generously. Tomorrow may just as likely bring enough sorrow on its own without you contributing to it. I have learned that though I can’t change every detail in someone’s life, I am humbled that God can multiply the small things I bring to the table into something so much bigger than what I can imagine.
Be encouraged. Ministry on the edge of the woods, far away from any city lights, is not for the distant. You must bury yourself in the mud alongside your neighbors to understand the beauty in it. Rural America cannot stand the smell of any more fly-by-night pastors. You will do weddings and funerals if you travel this journey, and I just as often hang my trendy plaid shirt on the back of my office door in exchange for my Carhartt overalls and sleeveless T-shirt carrying the logo of some business long forgotten.
I used to dream of a church planter who sipped his coffee at 2 in the afternoon surrounded by the carefully crafted atmosphere swirling around somewhere in Howard Schultz’s head. 6:00 AM is okay now, and somehow Curious George in the background is just as good as any artsy acoustic riff.
All of this to say: don’t let go of anything. But cling heavily to the things that make your experience meaningful. Find freedom in your work, your family, and your cheap coffee. God doesn't deal in bizarre, ethereal, and imaginary places. Reality is His game, and we must learn to play it. Let Him bless you there.