Is it already Wednesday? This week has been one of the most exhausting and crazy weeks of my life. This week is a week that carried over from last week with no reprieve or rest. This past weekend I gave my time to our church and youth families. It was wonderful spending the weekend with them, but it left my tank empty going into Sunday morning. Sunday was wonderful but it also left me tired as I followed up with a visitor I met that morning. Monday wasn’t just a normal Pastor’s Monday; it was a mega Pastor’s Monday as it was filled to the brim with sermon prep and meetings all day. I’m not griping about the time I got to spend with people. It is just hard pouring into others when you feel empty yourself. The icing on the Monday cake was that the office air conditioner decided to stop working so all tasks were done in an 85* office. By Tuesday I had just wore thin. Tuesdays start at 4:00 am for me as I lead a men’s Bible study. With the deluge of a week already beating me thin, I decided to take the afternoon to charge my batteries and catch up on the chores I didn’t get a chance to do over the weekend.
One of the chores I needed to get done was to go shopping for a few basic things at Walmart. Our dog can’t live without dog food, and Jenn can’t live without Froot Loops. As we were checking out I asked our cashier how he was doing. His response? “I’ve had better days.” That was it. For once I wanted someone, anyone, to just be ok. I finished my purchase and walked away from the counter annoyed that I couldn’t escape even at Walmart. I let my tongue get the best of me, and I said to my wife, “Why can’t he just put on a fake smile and get through it?” My justification was that I had plastered a fake smile on my face for most of the week. At that moment Jennifer, the woman God knew I needed, looked at me and said, “Maybe God set that moment up so you could minister to him.” Well, crud.
This past Sunday I preached on how God should become greater in our lives and we should become less. Yesterday afternoon I wanted to throw myself a pity party. I wanted to make much of myself. I wanted for people to take care of me. In all of this I missed an opportunity to share God’s love because I was too busy looking for love myself. What I needed all along was the same thing the cashier at Walmart needed. We both needed to be filled by God’s love and joy. I was looking for men to fill something only God could give. In the end I became one of the religious figures in the prodigal son, so caught up in loving themselves that they miss the genuine ministry that God puts in front of them.
God must become greater, and I must become less.