Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: OVERLOAD (10/06/16)
TITLE: The Doctors Verdict
By Robyn Harbour
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‘Robyn, all the tests show that there is nothing wrong with you. The chest pain you have been feeling is the result of panic attacks. You are running on empty.’
“What do you think would happen if I drove my car at full speed all the time and missed scheduled servicing ?’ he asked.
‘The car would not last long; the motor would burn out.’ I replied.
‘That is exactly what has happened to you. You have a problem that is quite common in Christian ministry. Because you feel you are doing God’s work you find it hard to say that little word ‘no’. If you want to be well you must evaluate what you are involved in.’
‘Ouch’ I knew he was right. The truth hurt. I was definitely overloaded. I belonged to a small church, there was so much to do and so few people who volunteered or had the skills needed to do so. I was also passionate about my relationship with God and wanted to serve Him with all my heart.
My husband and I were the Youth Pastors, I was the Sunday School Superintendent, pianist, and assistant women’s leader. I believed in being salt and light in the community, so I took on the position of Vice Principal at local primary school mother’s club. More often than not my husband and small children missed out as I little energy left. I had my life totally up the wrong way. My husband and children should have been first after my relationship with God.
‘I want you to consider giving up leading the Sunday School,’ he suggested.
‘I can’t,’ I replied. ‘I have been asking for months now for someone to take on my role but no one has come forward.’
‘That is not your responsibility, that is God’s problem.’
‘But I cannot leave them without a leader.’
‘Yes you can. Just resign and leave the rest to God.’
‘As to the other areas you are involved in my advice to you would be this: Find the one thing God wants you to do, then do it to the very best of your ability. That is all God requires of you.’
Because of my heightened sense of responsibility, I found it very hard to hand in my resignation. A typical Sunday found me playing the piano for the first part of the service. Taking the children out to the hall and leading the first part of Sunday School with my piano accordion. The children then went to class, while I went back into church in time to play the piano for communion and final hymn. In between this I had to breast feed my baby. I had been feeling the pressure for ages. No wonder I was having health problems. ‘
The week after I resigned a lady came up to me. ‘I had wanted to volunteer to take you place but felt that I would not be as capable as you. Now that you have resigned, I feel I must put my name forward to lead the Sunday School.’
Heather was an amazing leader, and excelled in this ministry. I learnt a very valuable lesson. I have a type ‘A’ personality, always keen to get involved and still find it hard to say ‘no’. The lesson I learned over thirty years ago had helped me focus on what God wants me to do, and not what I think God wants me to do.
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