Stop it! Stop singing that song!
Done? Good. Now read this:
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
–2 Timothy 4:1-2
I graduated college last Friday. Bible college. Yes, super exciting! But with that comes a lot of responsibility.
I am on vacation with my family, partly in celebration, but mostly because my school is 2/3 of the way from home to my grandparents’ house (1400/2000 miles). It just makes sense to visit them after picking me up from school.
My grandparents live in a little town and go to a little church. Tonight, whoever was in charge of the youth group called the pastor’s wife at 6:30 saying she wouldn’t be at the 7 o’clock service. The frazzled pastor’s wife came into the church and said: “Someone either needs to play piano or help with the teens!” So I piped up and offered to help her with the teens. I wasn’t particularly wanting to be there anyway (it’s been a long week), so being able to be of some use sounded like a great idea.
I figured she meant “Go sit with the teens while I do the music, and then I’ll come teach and you can be my assistant.”
Nope! She came in after about 15 minutes (The teens and I had a lovely time playing hangman–those kids are crazy!) and was like “So, do you have a lesson or something you can do with them?”
Uhh…I was blank. We ended up just playing games and hanging out, which was nice for the kids, but I got a healthy dose of conviction.
Granted, my mind is in children’s ministry, and I haven’t done youth ministry for two years…
But is that any reason for me to not be able to throw together a short devo on the spot?
Absolutely not. I realized in that moment that I haven’t been feeding myself and therefore cannot simply teach on the spot. I can’t give what I don’t have. I’ve been running on fumes with the stress of graduation and leaving school and have not taken time to just sit at the feet of Jesus.
I wasn’t ready. I missed an opportunity. I should have been able to feed them something–anything. But I couldn’t think of anything that wasn’t completely cliche, tired, or…frankly, insincere. I’m dry. I can’t pour out from dryness.
Please don’t think I’m writing this because I need affirmation or encouragement. I’m writing because I want you to avoid the same mistake I made. I can make excuses all day long, and to a certain point, they all hold water. But at the end of the day, my heart wasn’t ready, and that’s where the real problem lies.
Disciple, Christ-follower: Be ready. Be ready when you’re at your home church, when you’re on vacation, when you’re walking the halls of work or school. Be ready when you have a ministry and are expected to teach, be ready when ministry is the farthest thing from your mind.