Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Does it matter?

I was driving back from Bonita House on Tuesday. This is a residential drug treatment facility for women in crisis. As usual, I was processing the day's events and asking myself, "Am I doing something important here? Does it matter?"

I have been teaching here for about 1 1/2 years. I have mixed feelings about it. The facility is 19 miles away. And the classes last about 2 1/2 hours total (Sometimes 3, like yesterday). That's 3 1/2 hours on a 20 hour week for a facility that is outside our church's community.

I had resolved recently that the role of our church is to serve as a "transitional" church in our community, especially for the women at the rehab facility just down the street. But are we to serve as a transitional church for the city of Houston? (I thought the answer was "no.") Aren't there other churches out there that could minister to the women at Bonita House? Where are they? Why aren't they doing something? And if they don't, does the responsibility necessarily fall to our church?

If I weren't spending the 3 1/2 - 4 hours at Bonita House, what might I be doing? I know I am processing ideas about the "next step" in our outreach ministries -- some kind of support service or meeting for those who have discharged from the rehabs and are trying to get on with life. We make such a profound connection with them while they are there. How can we continue it? It seems the women themselves should be at the ground floor of designing and developing this next "step." How do I do it? How will it all happen? And is that a better use of my time?

I often tell the ladies, stop thinking about God's will for your life in rigid, linear terms. God's will is not necessarily point A to point B to point C to point D and so forth. It's more about approaching life in a certain way; it's about the way you live in communion with God, yourself and others, understanding that the goal is to learn how to do a better job of loving and to be transformed into the image of Christ. That being said, why do I let my own head get stuck in "the best" use of my time? The "best" ministry activities to involve myself in, as if only "the best" ones have value?

When I leave Bonita House each week, 90% of the time, I think, "That was significant." Is it the best use of my time? I think the women I am with would probably say yes, it is.

In a world where you are trying to position yourself as God's servant, you can get too wrapped up in obsessive thoughts that actually yank you out of servant mode. Well, at least I can, all the while asking myself again, "This stuff I'm doing, does it matter?"

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