A Quiet Life…

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,  so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

1 Thessalonians 4:11 & 12

For a lot of years, my over-riding passion was to be in a place of ministry. If I were honest, I would have to say my intentions were mixed. For about 8 months, God openned the door to be an associate pastor in Delaware. I worked in music and with the youth of the church. I dearly loved the job. It felt like I was doing what I was created to do and be. Although there were opportunities as a volunteer throughout the years in a variety of other communities of faith, and I used my talents in the best manner I could muster, I always felt divided between my responsibilities as husband/father and those of ministry. The pastor position allowed me to focus on ministry.  Ultimately, we couldn’t make it work financially. I was crushed. We moved back to Kansas City and my marriage began a slow death spiral.

One of Greta’s major complaints during our marriage was that I was never satisfied. She said that ministry became my mistress. I can see truth in that thought, yet also hear my own reverberating heartbeat to be who I believed God created me to be. I spent years trying to make it happen from my own planning and scheming. I don’t mean to say I was devious, my heart was good, but I  now think that what was beneath the surface, was a heart striving to believe in it’s own worth.

I still do battle with this demon. Last week, I received an opportunity to post on another blog: http://www.graceisforsinners.com/life/exposed/ about marriages dealing with infidelity. Greta has been honest about the last three years of our marriage in her own blog, and I thought it might be an opportunity for us to help someone else. Honestly, I also hoped for some increased traffic on my own blog. But things didn’t work out for Greta to post, and it didn’t happen. The author of the blog, Serena Woods, called this “affair week” and has allowed people to tell their stories. It has been a beautiful example of God’s grace in healing pain and bringing change in people’s lives.

I had hoped to be part of the story. I was disappointed. But God has been talking to me about why I was disappointed. I feel very vulnerable in saying this… I still seek outward acclaim to fill an inward need. I want to be liked, in order to feel loved. The striving for outward success in a ministry context, can take the place of the very humble, practical Jesus.

I am a long ways from ministry. And that is probably good. I am working two part-time jobs, in order to dig out of the financial hole I am in. But that is OK. I must meet this challenge head on and find the value in the experience… to find God in the experience… and learn to love the life He has given me to live. I don’t know what my future is. I hope to love again. I hope to be loved. My days are simpler. My hopes are also.  I want to know the fullness of a quiet life… The richness of knowing the people I meet. The confidence gained from digging out of a hole due to strength, effort, and patience. I want integrity.

I want God to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

All the rest is just gravy…



2 thoughts on “A Quiet Life…

  1. I completely identify with what you are saying- I have done that in the past too. Last year I worked at my church briefly; and learned very quickly that my pride at being there, especially after what had happened in my marriage and having a very public scandal/going through church discipline for my affair, was completely overshadowing my desire to serve God purely.

    I wanted to prove to people by my stature in the church that I was healed, different.

    I don’t work there anymore, and took a long break from writing until I could do so in a manner that glorified Him from my heart, as well as with my words.

    Praying for you- if it is God’s plan, He will provide you readers, and opportunities.

    • Lindsey,

      I have had a love/hate relationship with the church. I sincerely love the church in a large sense, that is, the body of Christ. I love when the Body lives out the message of Jesus in a secular setting. Especially when there is no fanfare. But that is also precisely why I hate the church, because it seems the corporate church seems to want fanfare! We seem to think that God is incapable of fighting for his own name and reputation. So the church uses very human means to try to accomplish God’s plan… How incredibly brash! There is no doubt that Jesus did some pretty spectacular things and even in a crowd, but he NEVER chased the spotlight. He lived his life going person to person. And each person began to follow…

      I appreciate both your comments here on my blog, and your witness on Serena’s. I pray for you and your marriage. I’m sure there is rough water, but Jesus is there somewhere. Sometimes it just takes a little time to look. Enjoy your family! And keep in touch. I always enjoy the rest of the story.


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