Talking the important issues of life about five minutes before bed one night, and my wife says, “It’s a tension. A Master of Divinity taught me it’s all about the tension — work your heart out whilst learning to relax.”
My wife has uttered some gems in her time in my life, but none better are they than this.
It applies just as much to marriage as it does to ministry as it does to life.
Work hard, resisting resenting anything along the way, and let go of everything that would hold you back.
Acknowledge that everything worthwhile is worthy of hardship while we work: marriage, ministry, life. All of what we’d call worthy is cheapened when we expect it to be easier than the hardest thing we’d ever do. And at the very same time, everything that we experience is either to be inculcated within or cast aside.
In marriage we’ve learned that married life is hard work. It was never meant to be anything else. Only when we approach marriage with a hard work ethic, then do we experience the joys that only God, in our diligence, could give us.
Joys come as a consequence of knowing expectation is the temptress of the foolish.
I’m sure it’s the unromantic couples that have the happiest of marriages. They don’t allow the folly of fairy tales to script their relationship. Instead, they take control of the manageable things, leaving the unmanageable things to a trustworthy God.
It’s the same with ministry. It’s about service, humility, other people, and discipline. Only when we enjoy doing the work of ministry, for what that work is alone, are we treated to the joys replete with the Holy Spirit’s Presence.
Why do we allow ourselves to get deluded in the romanticism of the world, when, in terms of ministry, our Bibles are full of the only applicable guidance?
Life holds us to the same measure of wisdom. Work hard. Enjoy the work. Let go of anything unworthy. Enjoy the joys that come as a result.
© 2016 Steve Wickham.