Writing the blog was really hard for me this week. I don’t know why, but writing in general has become really hard. The sad part is I really love to write, it’s one of those things that is such a release for me. I think it’s part of having a brain filled with so many thoughts going all the time, writing is that opportunity to put them into order. Lately, based on just the amount of writing I’ve been responsible for, from sermons, to club talks, to academic papers, one of my favorite things in the world has become kind of a task, like any other. It’s like the sanctity of what it used to be has just kind of lost it’s luster with how much I have to do it.
I think that’s how anything can begin to feel. No matter how much you love or believe in something, it can lose it’s luster after awhile for any multitude of reasons. I think complacency is one of the most difficult things to overcome in ministry. We get comfortable, at least I know I do. With that, it includes showing up, without really showing up. It’s like your body is there, you’re kind of there, but your mind is really off somewhere else. This last week, was a really tough one at Hosea. We had personal issues amongst staff and youth, we had multiple extra tasks beyond the typical week, and we were down our rock and leader Tauna who was taking a much deserved vacation (WE LOVE YOU T!!!). And as a man who wears many hats in my own life, this last week was especially difficult with my student hat, as it was dead week. So I pretty much walked into the basement as a hectic sandwich. I would get down there, try and write my papers, and just wouldn’t get anywhere. I just felt like time was my worst enemy, like how can I get it done? How is this going to work? Each and every time my attention was directed away from what my mind was set on, and to what was actually before me.
Being where you actually are is one of the biggest challenges in today’s society. We have smart phones, we’re busy, our minds are overstimulated, but what I was reminded of this last week is that it is one of the greatest gifts when we actually do it. My mind had every reason to be somewhere else this last week: so did JJ’s, so did Crystal’s, and I’m sure so did every volunteer that walked down the steps and into the basement. But God reminded all of us in prayer before we opened, “to leave our own agenda aside” while we serve our friends. With that, this last week was one of the most chaotic, but joyful weeks I’ve ever had at the Drop-In.
When your mind is really there, you can really hear the stories of people. You can actually witness the goodness in hearts in the midst of immense struggle. Setting myself aside allowed me to listen, to love, and to cherish our friends in ways I don’t always do. The Drop-In became much more of a sanctuary than it was a basement. There are so many lessons in that for me. I think if you asked the kids, they wouldn’t have known a difference, or seen the divine impact of being present, but I did. It’s just a lesson in how personal, caring, and joyful Jesus is. His joy really is our strength, and he doesn’t call to our perfection, but he does call to our motive, and our motive has to be much higher and deeper than just us. Even when you don’t think you can, He can make a way, where there is no way. He can change the heart, where it has been locked away. He can provide, where you feel like you have none to give.
2 Corinthians 9:6-9
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
~ Zach Leiken, Drop-In Center Staff