Devotional/Discussion Thought of the day:
It’s a day I dread, the Monday after a vacation. I look at my desk and there are a ton of things to do. There are services to plan, sermon preparation to be done (and prepped to share with my deacons) There is the business of being the pastor of a church. It is almost tiring just looking at the work that needs to get done this week.
More importantly, there are people I need to go see, and visit.
When I was in management at a university, Monday morning was a critical time – if I spent the first 30 minutes actually planning the week – life was so much better! Of course there would be interruptions, emergencies, things that would throw me for a loop – but the plan would be there to come back to, to restore sanity, to guide my week – and if I did 75% of the plan during the week – I could count it a good week and head off on Friday content. Attempts to do this in ministry, well, I’ve realized it is not just impossible – but completely wrong. I know contend that it was wrong even then…..
Consider this well known Bible passage:
6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
another translation put it this way…
6:33 Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God’s saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well. Matthew 6:33 (NJB)
As a pastor and translator, there are a number of reasons I like the second version better- but this post isn’t about Greek – it is about priority setting and Monday mornings and setting out for a great week. To see that happen, the only priority that must be set, is this one – to see ourselves living this day, this week, under God’s authority and care, to realize that He has called us to righteousness, He has saved us and made us His, and we live within the realm of His authority, and as important, His responsibility. This is perhaps the first and most difficult lesson of discipleship. I am not in charge, God is, and it is His time to use, to plan out, to show me how He will craft this week in such a way that it is a gift to me, and more importantly (here is where it gets challenging) to where my week will be a blessing to others.
This is important whether you are a pastor, or a manager, or a clerk, or a student. To realize that we sit at our master’s feet, that He is in charge of setting a schedule and making it work within His will, that it is the Holy Spirit’s work to see this week holy and sanctified.
Luther talked about it by noting that we begin and end our day as being baptized – that’s the righteousness/saving justice of God. It is also explained in the catechism in regards to the First Commandment. He is your God, no other. Knowing that helps set the priorities, and helps us stay focused when life seems less than righteous around us. Another writer said it this way, “Add a supernatural motive to your ordinary professional work, and you will have sanctified it” (Escriva – The Way)
So i urge you – because I have to urge myself this morning, take the time, a few moments – even 5 minutes… and breathe, and seek to realize that incredible blessing that comes from living in His presence, where He is in charge, where things that matter are all tied to His making them right, and holy. Seek first His love and authority and responsibility, seek His making your life the way it should be…. and everything else… will fall into place.