Last weekend I went to a women’s conference. I needed to get away and get with Jesus in the way that only getting away allows you. Hopefully you know what I mean. Now I want to give you a bit of back information.
The past 6 months I got distracted and sidetracked.
My husband and I own a pharmacy and leased a really old building since we bought the existing pharmacy fifteen years ago. Six years ago we bought property in anticipation of owning our own building. Once we completed the plans and paid off the property, we began the building process. Just so you know…that is a very simplistic summary of a very complicated process. Before the building began, I knew this would be a rough season.
Keeping up with the demands of my ministry is pretty tough, but I felt confident that I could keep the building distractions from invading my ministry life “too much.” Maybe it was because I knew my commitment to follow God and His call in my life. Quite possibly I put too much weight into my own “intestinal fortitude” (my Mama’s words). Maybe I simply didn’t think things through well enough. I honestly don’t know the root of my getting distracted and sidetracked. I just know I got distracted and sidetracked. Hence, the reason that I needed to get away and get with God away.
Sidetracked and Distracted = Disheveled Ministry
When I left town, the building was complete, but in the midst of the building process, I allowed many elements of my ministry to come unraveled. I didn’t know what to do or what I should do. Many questions and even some thoughts of giving up invaded my mind. When you get distracted and sidetracked, things come undone and you don’t know how to get them back in order. Also, it’s overwhelming when you look at the big picture.
In the opening session of the Living Proof Conference Beth asked, “What are you doing here this weekend? What has brought you here?” That was a no-brainer. I didn’t have to think on or pray about the answer. I knew I was here to see what God wanted to say to me about my somewhat disheveled ministry and my heart and mind about my calling and my ministry. “Was this still the calling? Was this still the pursuit? Had I failed because I got sidetracked and distracted?”
The conference opened with a video of mountain climbing and a young woman standing on the mountain she had climbed. The image was much like the cover image of my first published Bible study.
The title of Beth Moore’s message was, “Climbing in a Caving World.”
Beth gave us contrasting ideals of a caver and a climber. I came away from this weekend realizing that I was a climber with caver tendencies, but also knowing that being a caver will never work for me. I must overcome the caver tendencies to retreat in difficulties, to play it safe, and get sidetracked and distracted to easily. Beth said, “The climber risks it all for obedience.” Lord help me! That is the kind of daughter I want to be to God!
Following God and my calling in ministry has been a lot like mountain climbing. It’s been hard. Most of the time the terrain has been rough and rugged. Much of my time in ministry I have faced obstacles or hindrances that felt like mountains before me. While I know God’s word and believe God’s word, those mountains can be pretty daunting when we are staring at them. Right here, I have to take my own teaching and advice to others.
Focus is key. If we focus on the mountain and not God, retreat will be an option.
Saturday morning Beth made this point, “Mountains that don’t move are for climbing.” Yes, there are and have been mountains in ministry, but they aren’t reasons to get sidetracked and distracted. They are, as Beth said, “There for the climbing!”
What is your mountain?
Mountain climbing is hard. Sometimes it’s impossible, but remember:
But Jesus looked at them and said,
“With men it is impossible, but not with God;
for with God all things are possible.”
It has been 4 months since my last blog post. I have been distracted and sidetracked for a season, but I ask your forgiveness. Trusting that you will extend grace to me, I want to encourage you. If you have in anyway gotten distracted and sidetracked from your relationship with Jesus or your pursuit of His purpose and calling in your life, don’t let the mountains discourage you or cause you to retreat. As Beth Moore said, “If the mountain doesn’t move, climb it!” Let’s get moving up that mountain!
Much love and blessings!