I am a full time youth minister. I am a full time seminary student. Most importantly, I am married to a pregnant wife (Kim) and a dad to my 14 month old son (George).
Needless to say, life is busy.
Yet here we are a little over a week into Lent and hoping to make something of this season of preparation. This is supposed to be forty days that we parallel the time Jesus spent out in the desert just after his baptism and just before his ministry hit full swing. During Lent we fast from something to remind ourselves that God is really the thing we need more than anything. Yet it seems like with so much going on in life there is so much we NEED to do.
I need to read for class; I need to write a paper. I need to prepare a youth lesson. I need to organize a fundraiser for a mission trip. I need to send out newsletters. I need to change a diaper. I need to do the dishes. I need to mow the yard. I need, I need, I need.
I need to take a nap.
When life is as chaotic as it is, I often find myself pleading a prayer found in a David Crowder song, “Let Me Feel You Shine”: “what I need is for you to be the thing that I need.”
Let that sink in for a second.
In a world that tells us that we need to do this and we need to do that. In the midst of all the real and sometimes overwhelming responsibilities that are seemingly caving in all around us. The thing that we really need… that would be God. And praise be to the one who knows exactly what we are dealing with. The world had so many expectations of what my Christ needed to do. The deceiver takes us up on that high hill and shows us the world and says, “All this can be yours!”
So here we find ourselves in the midst of the world that tells us, “You just need to…” In a church that says, “You just need to…” To all this my friend Jesus responds, “Worship the Lord God and serve only God” (Matthew 4:10). “Come to me you who are weary… and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
God is calling us to live a different life, one that is not burdened with all of the things that we “need” to do. God is calling YOU this Lenten season to lay your worries down about not getting everything done and remember Micah 6:8: “What is it that the Lord requires of you? To do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.”
How do I balance my schedule? How do I find peace in the midst of chaos?
I find peace in God. I know that I will never be able to do all of the things this world needs me to do, yet that does not change the way God loves me. I gave something up for Lent and every time I feel like I need it I remind myself that I need God instead, and that sometimes God needs me to be still for a moment. God needs me to love others and I can’t do that without taking care of myself. The need that is greatest of all is my need for God to be the thing that I need.
In these 40 days I pray that I can come to know that truth more often than I forget it.