Opportunity for ministry or detriment to spiritual growth?
This week has been absolutely chock full of blessed social appointments. I have been living "high on the hog" as it were, trying new restaurants with my friend Misty who stayed with us this week, meeting girlfriends for coffee, visiting with people from church (either in their home or out for pizza), getting doughnuts, pie kitchen, etc.
Whoa. . .
It is almost overwhelming. Jesus has blessed me with precious relationships, fantastic conversations, probing questions and endless moments of laughter -- so I want to take these dinner dates and cups of coffee as gifts from my blessed Savior's hand, and not take them for granted! This was a huge aspect of the seminary life that I was so eagerly looking forward to -- the social life!
I do, however, know my own nature enough to see where I could become almost addicted to filling my life with social events, and thereby rather complacent in my home life or negligent in my spiritual walk with Christ. It is true that it may be a bit harder to love Christ supremely, devote myself utterly to cultivating a relationship with Him and long for the glories of Heaven when I am so filled up with the benefits of these relationships on earth. When I have had meal after meal after meal in a new fantastic place, sharing in a dynamic conversation . . . well, it's a bit hard to miss my Jesus! I may feel like I need Him less, somehow, because my cup runs over.
We do need one another's sharpening in our lives, though, don't we? I need to be asked good questions, and to focus my attention on really listening to my friend's needs. Christ would have His body to be unified -- loving one another, showing hospitality, building each other up and speaking the truth in love. It is important to be able to cultivate that in day to day life, otherwise we might so easily turn inward, thinking our small world is the only one of importance, and our small hurts are the only ones that exist.
The key here? Balance. Quite obviously, my response to an overwhelmingly blessed week in the company of my Christian brothers and sisters ought to be to pour out my thanksgiving to Christ -- the Best Friend of all friends -- and seek to devote myself to some quality "us time": just me and Christ. I need to read His word, speak to Him frequently, and probably ensure that quite such a heavy schedule does not continue for weeks and weeks (I am thinking that after a shower I'm going to tomorrow night, that's gonna be it for awhile!). I need to pay attention to the prompting of the Holy Spirit telling me that my home, my relationship with my husband and my sweet walk with Jesus may start to suffer if I make one more coffee date.
It's been a great week, Jesus! Next week I want to spend more of it with you!
These pictures are a super small sampling of this week: Misty and I in the car sometime, eating dinner at our friend Brady's house, and with Elizabeth Coffman-Mackey at Lynn's Paradise Cafe.