It’s the same each week. About 5 minutes after the youth leave I start the Sunday night Mental Dance of Doom. It goes something like this: Man, where was everyone this evening? There weren’t enough kids tonight (regardless of the number). Maybe they don’t like the games we’ve been playing. We should try some different games. I am awful at choosing games. If I could just find a game everybody likes they’d be coming. No, that’s not right. People don’t come for the games. It’s probably the small group curriculum. They hate it. They aren’t learning anything because it’s so awful. I should have picked something else. Or maybe it’s the devo time. I’m picking songs they don’t know or like. Maybe they don’t want to do worship time. They just had worship this morning. Maybe they would rather play a game. Man I’m awful at games. And choosing lessons. And setting up worship. And getting students to come. I’m just awful at this whole ministry thing.
It happens every week so you’d think that I would be used to it. But every week I am disoriented, disappointed, and honestly…scared. I worry I’m not doing a good job or that if I just worked a little harder it would be better. But I only have so many hours in a day and they can’t all be spent at the church (is that even ok to say?!?).
The truth is that everybody has some area in their life that is overwhelming and scary. For a lot of my friends it’s parenting. The overwhelming responsibility of raising human beings can be a bit scary. Or maybe it’s a job. Or a relationship. Or even a specific project or task. We all encounter stuff that’s overwhelming. And the Dance of Doom kicks in and we are so sure that we are terrible people doing a terrible job. We don’t want to do it any more. It would be easier to let it go, to stop trying. Sometimes it’s not an option but we wish we could just bail or that someone would come in and either tell us we are doing a good job or tell us how to fix it.
That voice is not of God. He has called me to ministry and he’s not the one telling me I can’t do it. It’s me, the Enemy, and my fear dancing around in my head. I wish I could say that all I have to do is acknowledge that and it goes away but I would be lying to you. The Dance goes on and on until I finally stop and pray about it. I ask God what He wants from me and then I just rest. Every time the dance starts back up I just offer it back up to God.
It’s not my job to transform the lives of my students. It’s not your job to raise perfect kids. It’s not even your job to be perfect at work. We show up and do the best we can trusting that God will show up too and cover for our shortcomings.
That doesn’t mean I will ever stop trying or stop working or striving to improve in my ministry or personal life. But it does mean that I will try to find contentment in the moment and that I will cut myself a break when I’ve done the best I can. I won’t keep dancing to a tune that isn’t sung by God. Because I’ve learned how sweet it is when you dance with Him. He’s a great partner and even though my steps are clumsy and I falter I’ve never once fallen when I’m leaning on Him. The steps aren’t perfect but they are joyful, exciting, and encouraging. I find peace and purpose when I dance with Him and that’s the only dancing I want to be doing from now on.
So may your week be filled with laughter, songs, and dancing. And may you find the peace and joy that comes from dancing along to the tune that God is singing over you.