Monday, June 21, 2010

What does it profit a man?

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul? Luke 9:25

“Martha, Martha”, the Lord answered, “You are upset about many things but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the best part and it will no be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

Last week was a glorious week. Pam was here in San Jose with Amira and I. It is a rare experience when we get to spend time together in the same place, as friends and as a team. So we drove to Santa Cruz and had breakfast in my favorite place, Aldo’s. Aldo’s has an outdoor deck right on the ocean overlooking a lighthouse. We sat together basking in the sea air and the warmth of each other’s friendship. How I love and cherish my sisters.

We began a conversation that each of you reading this will understand. Where is the line of continued growth and our own limitations? This is a difficult question. We all love the Lord and His work. We love kids and we long for the Gospel to reach every kid with a disability in the world. It’s a grand and glorious vision. The problem comes when I think I have to pull this off and make this my work instead of the Lord’s work. The result can be catastrophic: weariness, being overwhelmed, frustration, anger, health, loss of quality in family and friends.

I believe Luke 9:25 is about more than being wrongly centered on material greed. I believe it can also read like this: What does it profit a person if they build the greatest and most expansive ministry, but lose their own soul. Is it possible to lose your own soul in ministry? The frightening and sobering answer is yes!

How do you do that?
• Believe that you are God and it is all up to you
• Say “yes” to everything
• Say “yes” without consulting the Holy Spirit
• Say “yes” without council from your community
• Live for an audience of multiple people, rather an audience of one
• Stack up days and days without a break
• Believe if you don’t do it then it won’t get done or done well
• Don’t exercise
• Eat poorly
• Believe you have no human limitations
• Stuff feelings rather than confessing to your friends
• Your “to-do” list is longer than your prayer list
• You talk way more to kids about God than to God about kids
• Believe you are a failure if it all doesn’t get done or the numbers aren’t big enough

Dearest friends, the YL Capernaum work is God’s. As Mother Teresa said, “We are just pencils in His hands. He uses us to write HIS story.” It takes discipline to remain a pencil and refuse seeking to become the author!

Living this and praying this with you