I like a good routine. Structure. Order. Control. These are the things that make my heart sing. I tend to be a little Type-A and I like it. Nothing makes me so happy as when I check an item off of a to-do list. I’ve even been known to write things I’ve already done on a list just so I can check them off. I know, lame.
Moving to Central America has completely messed me up in this respect. The words “culture shock” are not strong enough to express some of what I’ve gone through trying to release my perfectly crafted agendas from my grasp.
I continuously fall into the never ending cycle of measuring who I am by the tasks I complete. The jobs I do, the things I accomplish..all of this feeds my ego that says I can do it! I don’t think I’m the only one. It never ceases to amaze how much “look at me” is going on in the missionary community and in local churches all over the world. But that’s a topic for another day…
Anyway, I came across this quote by Oswald Chambers. Here it is:
“The greatest competitor of devotion to Jesus is service for Him. The one aim of the call of God is the satisfaction of God, not a call to do something for Him.”
He was a busy guy too. He balanced teaching, preaching, writing, being a husband and father, and even managed to be a chaplain during the First World War. But I think he got this. The greatest competitor of true devotion is the temptation to measure ourselves not in how well we know God, but in how well we are serving Him.
Because that’s how we humans (and especially us Type-A gringa types) like to measure ourselves. In tasks we’ve done on our own strength. There are many tasks that pull me everyday. Some are really important…like passing out food, helping orphans, and raising my own kids. But none of these are as important as knowing God.
I’ll say it again…None of these are as important as knowing God.
Because the other stuff falls in line when I am close to Him. He directs me, leads me, encourages me to live in humility. I fail time and time again when I try to do life on my own. I live in a continuous cycle of depression, resentment, discouragment, failure, and then hope as I remember the One I am really trying to satisfy.
So the struggle continues day in and day out for me to remember that the One I am working for is more important than the job I am doing.
Any other Type-As out there care to confess?