Ever since my Grandmother taught me how to work hard mowing and caring for her yard, I have been a secretly lazy person. I used to tell my students that I was the hardest-working lazy person they would ever meet, that I had a hundred short-cuts for learning, and that I would teach them all. Then I would sit back and wonder if they actually believed me.
Years later, I am still that person...except now I have the hardest job I have ever had: ministry!
Don't misunderstand me...I LOVE it, but it is very hard.
What makes it even harder - and what makes me crazy - is that I just learned one little detail that I was missing: the difference between a sailboat church and a rowboat church.
In a rowboat church, everyone (especially the pastor) is working as hard as they can. They work together, sometimes they even chant or sing as they work. They "pull" together and get things done. It is satisfying and wonderful...but those rowers sure get tired. And everyone knows that rowers can't row forever. And what happens when they stop rowing? THEY DRIFT AIMLESSLY!
In a sailboat church, everyone CAN row from time to time to make small adjustments or to help out. But the primary force that moves the boat is the wind.
One of the very few Hebrew vocabulary words that actually stuck in my memory is "ru-ach" - the word for breath, or spirit, or wind. It is the wind that moves a sailboat church - or the breath of God - or His spirit. But we do not move it...we just go along for the ride.
Is the Father calling us to work? Certainly! Is he also showing us the way? Sure! Is the work sometimes very hard and even exhausting? Absolutely!
But are we trying to determine the course ourselves? Or are we smart enough and faithful enough to trust his "ru-ach" to get us there?
Don't know about you...but this lazy preacher thinks we just might quit rowing and let the wind blow us for a while!