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Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
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Thursday, June 18

Today’s Readings: Psalm 54; 1 Samuel 15:1-23; John 18:28-40; 2 Corinthians 9:7-15; Psalm 35

For the majority of my twenties and early thirties, I lived my life as an activist. There were several causes I devoted my life to. I worked as an advocate for women’s rights, LGBT rights, reproductive health care rights, the rights of religious minorities – you name the cause, and I was there. By the time I reached the tender age of 32, I found that I was completely and totally burned out. You might wonder why I got burned out when I was working for such important causes. At the time, I wondered that myself. It took me several years to realize how I got to that point. The primary reason I got burned out was that I spent the bulk of my time and energy working against various forms of oppressions and -isms. It was that negative focus day after day that burned me out. Paul saw the spiritual danger involved in focusing primarily on the negative and went to great lengths to encourage folks to take a more positive approach toward life. In talking about one’s approach toward caring for the underprivileged in the community, for example, Paul gave us some great advice for how to avoid burn out. “Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians,” Paul wrote. “It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12 from The Message). I believe it is the second half of the statement – the encouragement to incorporate a genuine spirit of thanksgiving into your daily life – that represents Paul’s recipe for avoiding burn out. Perhaps you are in a space much like I was earlier in my life –a place where you find yourself working AGAINST - rather than FOR – various causes. If so, take a moment to do a reality check. Remind yourself of the many blessings that exist all around you. Those blessings can become the fuel that will power your spirit of thanksgiving – and that spirit of thanksgiving will spur you on as you work to extend those blessings to others. Til next time…

1 comment:

Dutch said...

"Who do you say that Jesus is?" Craig asked recently. Within the last year I became aware that I could not give an articulate answer. It has been years since I taught Sunday School to youth. I don't have adult language with which to say anything sensible. Finding an answer which keeps me tied to the sacred stories of the faith is one of my current projects.