I’ve been unemployed for nine days now.
I decided to spend a couple of weeks establishing better life rhythms.
This means I wake up early every morning, read the bible, pray, and exercise. During the day I go to counseling, shop for groceries, and get free massages from my wife. Then at night I read a good book and cook dinner for Rachel.
I feel great. I’m eating healthier and sleeping better than I have in years.
I’m also intentionally avoiding my neighbors. Nothing against them, it’s just that some residents have come to see me as their pastor, and I need a break.
This past Wednesday, I put my laptop in my satchel and walked out my front door. I turned right onto Market Street toward downtown. After walking a couple of blocks I stopped and asked myself an important question:
“Where am I going?”
I stood and pondered this question for a few minutes before turning around and walking back home.
Here’s a bible verse I’ve read many times:
“Be still and know that I am God.” (
Christian bookstore greeting card Psalm 46:10)
I think God has led me to a stint in the wilderness. Because he wants me to be still. He wants me to stop striving and remember something important.
See, ministers are delusional. I can say that, because I used to be one.
What I mean is that, over time, we start to think God needs us.
We start to believe we can’t stop. We can’t stop planning events, writing lessons, praying with people, doing premarital counseling, going to camp with kids, visiting people in the hospital, returning phone calls, and on and on.
Because if we stop, the mission stops.
And everybody goes to hell.
And now God’s going to be pissed.
I’m exaggerating of course, but the reality is this:
God doesn’t need us.
He doesn’t need me, and he doesn’t need you.
I can prove it:
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10, ESV)
If we stand absolutely still and don’t do anything, God will still be exalted. Not just in my neighborhood, not just in my town.
But among all the nations in the whole world.
I’m not even going to talk about how awesome it is that we get to take part in what God is doing. Because as awesome as that is, it’s not the point.
The point is this:
God wants you to be still. He wants you to take some time to chill out and remember that things are in his hands.
And believe me, it’s better that way.
4 thoughts on “Wilderness”
Great stuff, Preston! We needed to hear that.
It’s necessary to detach for awhile for a purpose. Seems that you have the right purpose to attach to the One who created you.
Thank you for sharing your life with those who love you and support your devotion to Christ. Life is not easy and God sometimes changes our direction when we listen and allow Him to lead. His purposes go beyond our understanding until we can look back and his profound influence is revealed. Glory to God.
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