Have you ever had a really, really bad day? I know, that's like asking if you've ever been bitten by a mosquito or had a flat tire. We've all had days we wish never happened. I had one of those days this past Sunday. We had just come out of a string of revival meetings in which I had to play guitar every night. As a guitarist, you'd think I'd be thrilled to play that much. And I do love to play. But, once the revival closed out, I didn't touch my Strat but for a few minutes on day. I just got burned out. You'd think that after a few days respite I'd be ready to rock once church rolled (no pun intended-for real!) around Sunday morning. (I love being able say I'm gonna rock in church!) But this time I wasn't. It was evident, at least to my ears and fingers that I was still vegetating in the funk from pouring out and pouring out. I was off my game, and I just didn't want to be up there. That's how it was all day long. Even last night was tough. I made myself pull the guitar out and practice. I put my iPod on and pulled up a practice track on it. Nothing I played sounded right. My guitar didn't feel right. I just wanted to give up. But it was me. I was in a down time, a period where I was still coming out of some discouragement. Even though I wanted to give in and just watch TV, I needed to keep on pressing forward. And tonight, I plan on continuing that. I need to press on. You see, music in a real sense is part of my job. When I had to constantly do it as work, it burns me out. I needed to take time and get back to why I play music, even though it was somewhat painful. I play music because I love music.
We get that way in all areas of life. We spend and spend and spend, whether it's for work, ministry and even family. We need to take time to ourselves just to get recharged. If I've had a long day taking care of sick kids and keeping the well ones on task with homework and chores, I need to have some time to get away from the rush and clear my mind. I need to relax. I have a tough job in ministry that not many folks are lining up for. Keeping the books isn't very fun, and it can be intensely stressful at times. When I come home (often late), I want to forget numbers, checks and payroll and melt on the couch. I need recharging. And in ministry, I need that time that I can get alone with God, not waiting on cell phones and church needs. I need to simply get in prayer, soak the presence of God up, and let Him fill me. You'd think that in a revival, I'd be able to do that nightly, but when you are pouring out, it isn't easy to do that. Sometimes pastors really need revival after coming out of revival!
That time for me began Sunday night. I had some good time alone with the Lord at the altar. I am getting my battery recharged. And I need to remember why I follow the Lord. It isn't so I can do ministry. I love Jesus, and I want to spend time with Him. He's my savior. I do ministry because the love that I have for Him compels me to reach out to others. (And for that call I can't escape from.) My relationship with the Lord is not one and the same with ministry. But ministry flows from that relationship. Simply put, when I pour out of myself, like any old pitcher, I need to be filled back up if I am to be of any use. I let myself get poured out dry. I am now refilling.
This isn't the deepest message today. But I pray that it is just what you need. And it's the first blog in forever. But keep surfing over, friends. I'll do my best to have something here for you all.