I was paired with Patrick, who interned with Campus Crusade along with his wife Molly this past year at the University of Texas. We took turns sharing how we could use prayer. I shared how I need wisdom to balance ministry life with family life on project. I know how to do ministy (or at least I know more about that than I do about how to be a husband and father…) and so my tendency is to default to the campus minister version of a work-a-holic, pouring myself into ministry activity at the expense of my family.
I guess it’s a good thing he prayed. Who knows how poorly I’d be doing finding balance otherwise.
It’s been a difficult time so far balancing things like staff meetings, meeting with the two students I have been assigned to, helping Jacqueline set up and tear down for meal times (our portable high chair is paying for itself many times over), helping give leadership to the praise band, running sound at various events, spending quality time with my wife who feels most loved by quality time, changing diapers, and finding time somewhere in there to cultivate a relationship with Christ.
The speaker we had come to our “Monday Night Live” meeting two nights ago might as well have been reading from my journal as he described his walk with the Lord in his 20’s and 30’s. He confessed that his passion for ministry at times eclipsed his passion for his family, not intentionally, but slowly over time. He let his “one thing” become ministry instead of Jesus.
Walking by faith is tough, and scary. It’s much easier to find a counterfeit and follow after it. It helps me to understand how the Israelites, just days removed from the Lord’s leadership through Moses, could build a golden cow and worship it. It’s easier to walk by sight. My heart is so quick to build counterfeit deities to bow down to, like successful ministry, or a full bank account, or a good appearance to others. It’s tempting to only blog about the good stuff.
The Christian life is impossible. How often I forget that the only way to be victorious, to keep all the balls I’m juggling in the air at the same time is to surrender to Christ. I long for the day that I will selflessly serve my wife. I long for the day that my interests will be the last thing I think about.
One of the things that I have forgotten hundreds of times since I first heard it is the fact that Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, longs to give me the power I need to live this Christian life. He has placed in me a new heart, with new desires and new power to fulfill those God-honoring desires. I’m like a soldier using a knife to fight with, unaware of the assault rifle strapped to my back.
So, keep praying, Patrick.