Recently, I stayed the night at a lake house with some friends. We ate snacks, hung out by the beach, and slept on our memory foam pillows. At the same time, a few miles away, dozens of athletes were preparing for an ultra marathon, running 100 miles through the mountains and the foothills. Runners ran through that day and into the night. All while I ate kettle corn and played games in a cabin nearby.
Maybe that’s how ministry can feel to us.
Sometimes, snug and set up in our idyllic abodes by the lake, and other times, trudging along muddy, dark trails at midnight, eating nothing but electrolyte goo packets. In ministry, it is all too easy to feel like we are all alone on our journey; that the road behind us sucked our souls, and the path ahead too arduous. But along the way, we may hit our stride, and suddenly the scary-sounding ultramarathon feels like a walk in the park on a summer night. Ministry is both amazingly awful and awfully amazing. Let us take heart in the fact that none of us is running alone.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul encourages the struggling church of Corinth saying “…I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged. In all of our troubles, my joy knows no bounds” (7:4).
So this one is for the leader who is exhausted,
For the leader who is excited,
For the leader who is struggling,
And for the leader who is thriving,
This one is for the leader who is brand new,
For the leader who founded the ministry,
For the leader who lacks confidence,
For the leader who believes the best is possible,
This one is for the leader who is trying something different,
For the leader who is told to just keep things the same,
For the leader who feels jaded,
For the leader who feels revived,
This one is for the leader who feels isolated,
For the leader building a team,
For the leader who feels like quitting,
For the leader who is called to stay,
For all of you,
For all of US.
Ministry friends, partners journeying together: in all our troubles, let our joy know no bounds. Keep on running.