ChurchETHOS

Fear, Doubt, and Basketballs

Posted in uncategorized by Nathan Creitz on January 18, 2006

A few nights ago, I realized how much work there is to be done right now in our church and how little time there is to do it. I was up working late into the night like I usually do, but when I finally went to bed at about 2:30 in the morning, I couldn’t sleep. I went to bed excited about doing the work of the Lord, but as I lay there, doubts and fears began to trouble me.

I began to get this image of one of those people who can balance, like, 30 spinning basketballs all over themselves, on their head, on their toes, on their belly button, and the fear crept in that I would not be able to keep all of my “basketballs” spinning. With all of the various tasks and responsibilities I have as a pastor, I even pictured myself, basketballs all around me, none spinning, as I simply laid there in despair. Sure I had the responsibilities (i.e. the basketballs) all around me, but nothing was going, nothing was being accomplished.

I was being humbled by the Lord in that moment. I realized that I am not good at any of the responsibilities entrusted to me. I think of the Sundays that I lead worship and then the Sundays that I preach. How often do I “drop the ball”? What about the international student outreach God is giving me a passion for? I’m no good at that. The planning, the administration, the vision are all responsibilities I shoulder, not to mention the disciple-making, the teaching, the equipping. What about the mission teams we are planning on hosting? What about the three mission trips we are planning on sending? How about the emails, the phone calls, am I getting things done? I don’t think people understand what pastors do, but the fact is, none of us are professionals. We will always be lacking.

So that was the fear, the doubt, followed by being humbled, but then there was the reassurance. As I lay there in my bed, thinking about the basketballs, the Spirit revealed to me that it’s His job to balance “the basketballs”. With his life and His power, He keeps His church moving forward when there are those who are faithful to do His bidding. God equips His church with pastors, teachers, etc. to occasionally bump a basketball that’s getting a little wobbly or is slowing down, but He keeps them balanced and moving. It’s His power that accomplishes the task.

I’m glad it’s not my power that makes His church march forward because I would be worse at leading the church than I would be at spinning basketballs (Guess what, I can barely spin one basketball for 10 seconds). It would do just about as much good for God’s kingdom, too. Thank God I just need to be willing to serve Him.

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