I have to admit, I don’t think I have ever done this with a 200churches post, but maybe I just don’t remember, which would of course fit. However, I think this might be the first post I’ve written for 200churches while under the influence.
I put it off last night, as I was in a similar predicament. I thought maybe tonight might be better, but it’s not. I’ve drank way more than usual this afternoon and tonight. I’ve been wondering what to write about, but things look different and seem different when you’re “impaired”, right?
The things I would normally be excited about, just seem sort of bland to me right now. And, the stuff (subject matter) that needs brains behind it isn’t working tonight – things are too fuzzy.
So, fuzziness and negativity do not bode well for ministry motivation. Then there is the fatigue and listlessness, and the slight headache. I thought drinking a little more might take the headache away, but not yet. Maybe I need just a couple more glasses.
Maybe I won’t post this, since it may reflect negatively on me in some pastors’ estimation. Not the women pastors of course, they’re okay, but it would be the men pastors. They’re probably the ones who wouldn’t think of taking a sip after 6:00pm. Oh no, they avoid all cold beverages after supper, for fear they’ll be up a half dozen times in the night.
Well, the doc told me today that it’s probably a less than severe case of influenza. Not enough to keep me down (I’m probably the really strong or really stupid type!) but just enough to keep me impaired, under the weather… under what I call, “the inFLUence”.
I can hear Jonny now, moaning and groaning about how corny this post is shaping up to be! “There goes Jeff again, trying to be the cool shock-jock, and just pulling a ‘bait ‘n switch’ on our faithful readers.” I know Jonny, but just indulge me for a couple more paragraphs of constructive FLUency.
We all do ministry while under the influence, it’s just what we’re under the influence OF! While we can make choices to be around positive influences and situations, sometimes it’s not always possible. One of those times is when we are sick.
Right now I have been sporting a low-grade fever for over a week. It’s getting old. Come to think of it, so am I! So I’m tired. I’m not depressed or discouraged – I’m just frustrated that I’m so tired and under the weat… influence that I can’t attack all the great opportunities ahead of us here at our church. They are just waiting for me to get better. My body’s willingness is not matching my spirit’s eagerness!
The doctor told me I am really not contagious anymore, and I should be out of the woods at any moment. Here is what I am doing while staying in the ministry while under the inFLUence:
1. Trying to rest.
2. Drinking lots of “cold beverages.” (did you really think I meant alcohol earlier??)
3. Trying to not get too close to people.
4. Talking to God.
5. Holding onto HOPE. Being sick can be discouraging, so I keep reminding myself how wonderful it will be when I get back to 100%.
6. Doing what I can do, just at a slower pace.
7. Trying to be patient and enjoy a slower pace.
8. Mustering more empathy for those who really suffer.
9. Appreciating the great life God has given me.
10. Constantly thinking about how I can be both a better pastor, and a better encourager, with Jonny, of other pastors.
11. Finally, appreciating the wonderful, fantastic wife I have – and the encouraging #3 son who still lives with us and is generous with hugs.
What are YOU under the influence of today? Is it something good? Or something bad? And, how are you handling it?
Whether it’s a tough board member, a negative health or financial situation, a supportive team of volunteers, or the best ministry scenario of your life – take a moment and assess how you think you are handling it.
Are you leveraging the great things and mitigating the negative influence of the bad? Are you taking solid, even if slow – steps to improve things, and harnessing the power of your blessings?
You’re doing ministry under the influence – I hope it’s going well for you!
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