Fifteen minutes before the celebration of life service I realized the mic I set up didn’t work. I rushed to find a replacement. Later, I guessed, I had a bad mic cable, but in the moment, I was switching inputs and mics. I finally grabbed a mic from the music team and drug it across the stage. With just a few minutes to go, I was close to panic. “I am going to have an aneurysm if this doesn’t work…” but it did and service went on.

The mic not working would have been a failure. But the mic working wasn’t success. My job is intangible – hard to measure. Difficult to see success (success is even difficult to define). But it is also emotional and hard to set aside. All the more so during the pandemic. With disconnected relationships and numbers down …

I regularly feel like a failure.

You can tell my mental health based on the random side projects I have going. This week, after the celebration of life services, in the middle of the day I went out and bought a tree1. I listened to a video for Sunday’s Enneagram Class (pretending productivity). And started digging. Pulled out the old tree, planted the new one, added mulch, watered…

Standing back, I looked at the new little tree… it was nice to see tangible life and health. There are moments I wish I was in another occupation. Rather than wonder if a bible study is creating change (real change), I could step back and say, “what a nice house I helped build.” … so it was good to look at the little tree. Pleasing to my heart.

Trees still function as they were created. Plant one properly. Water it. Love it. And it will grow. People on the other hand… we are in a constant search for the meaning of life, because we do not innately know why we were created. Even if we discover the meaning, we must still choose to follow it.

My brokenness is not that I have forgotten the meaning of life. I have found it and live it. For me, I have forgotten my worth. I suspect it is wrapped up in in some measure of success — whether I lead others to understand and act out the meaning of life. But I am actually like the little tree. Before I was planted, God loved me. Apart from anyone else’s growth, He is pleased to simply see me trying to grow.

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

  1. I replaced one of the trees I wrote about last week. Removing the old tree was surprisingly easy. It had been in the ground for four years. But I dug about 6inches down in a circle without hitting any roots.So pushed the trunk (my hands couldn’t reach all the way around – so it was decent size) and the tree moved. I took hold and pulled it out of the ground. Very hulk like… except the root ball was maybe a foot, with no major extensions.

Join us this Sunday at 10:30 as we continue our series Axe Acts: Fuel for the Fire. We will follow our Resolve2021 readings and work through the book of Acts. Learning how the Spirit spread and set the world on Fire for God!– In person with masks or streaming on Facebook and Youtube.

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