Sunday, September 27, 2009

if you don't feel like being merciful to me, go read something else.

1560 sunday morning services - not counting separately for the years of 2, and even 3, services.
780 sunday evening services
520 midweek services
60 christmas & good friday services - again, not counting separately for 2 or 3 on one night
312 friday nights at youth
77 full days at church camp, all of which ended with a campfire service

that totals 3309 services, and is *conservative*. in more than half of those i have been an active participant, serving in some capacity. i have led worship, preached, led small groups, set up chairs, taken down chairs, rolled tables, rolled cables, watched babies, taught sunday school, set up food, baked food, greeted, made crafts, led kid worship, been a youth leader, been a camp counselor, and more. and each of those sundays, services & camps i was the "pastor's kid" or the "pastor's wife". the church has been my fishbowl - always someone watching to see if i get out of line, waiting to judge what i wear or say or do. if it wasn't you judging, trust me, it was someone else.

lately i have felt the cumulative weight of all 3309. Jesus said, "come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and i will give you rest." what happens when it is the service for Jesus, who i love, that makes me weary? what then?


Angela said...

I'm tired just READING about it ... go take a break, go to the beach, the mountains, have a church services of ONE with the Father. Because you are an awesome servant and we don't want you to burn out!

Annie said...

I agree with Angela. Take a break, a retreat and just be with Him.

Jennifer said...

well i think you're a beautiful fish in the fishbowl. perhaps you are watched more than most fish because you are so unique and other want to be like you. praying for you!

Krissi said...

Maybe you should take a vow of non-participation for a year. A bit of a sabbatical of sorts. Might seem a bit radical and extreme, but so was Jesus.

SAM said...

Our Jesus is FULL of Compassion. He was always moved by it. Though I myself only serve in lay service, I watch and prayerfully support those in full-time ministry. It can be a lonely misunderstood wearying place with constant demands on your time, mind, emotions, soul, spirit, and body.

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me". As you know, Jesus often stole away from the crowds to get alone and quiet with His Father, but then just as often He stayed even into and through His physical weariness as He was moved by the Heart of Compassion.

...follow Him, learn from Him...
He WILL direct your steps... and you WILL find peace and rest.

You know it is your precious savior you serve and you know how very much He adores you, treasures you, and cares for you. He sees you. He loves you. He is for you not against you. Crawl up in His lap, rest your head on His shoulder,...

Matthew 11:29-30 (The Message)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Cynthia said...

Wow, Rae, you have great friends who really love you. I love reading their comments of support for you. Some beautiful stuff there. ((((HUGS))))

Marilyn said...

what can we do when the work FOR God ruins His work within us? I only know that this battle is won in the small things - the inner and outer freedoms we give ourselves, and in guarding your soul.

all of which you are learning to do. I think you know I am ON YOUR SIDE - the side of freedom and you being released into ever more beautiful living.

by the way - to feel this way is completely good and normal. healthy. i am your fan.

Johnny D. said...

Even in my meager church-volunteering time, I agree. I wanna give you a hug for how much more you've endured. I agree with Jennifer in that your uniqueness is what makes people pay more attention to you...and being a PK...and a PW...and youth volunteer...and having an wonderful personality and spirit. Ya know, just those few things.

In all your endeavors, I hope the best for you. Miss you. Peace.