Holding It Together
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15–17
One thing we talk about a lot as a staff is being transparent about our struggles and downfalls as leaders in our congregation, and this blog is meant to do just that. I don’t intend it to be particularly instructive or enlightening for others. I simply want to be honest with something that God exposed in me last week, so take it for what it’s worth.
There have been a number of adjustments in my life since taking on my new role as Lead Teaching Pastor at Harris Creek. If I’m going to be honest, I actually love the challenges and struggles I have faced up to this point in my new position. I have found the work to be incredibly fulfilling and feel as though I am where I am supposed to be in life. That being said, last week was one of the busiest and more stressful weeks of my life. There were a number of challenges that I had not faced personally or professionally up to this point. Some of the new challenges have been accompanied by a spiritual weight that can only experienced and not adequately described. By the end of the week, I felt a satisfaction with my work but also felt really drained. I also saw a bad tendency developing in my life.
There was a pattern that was beginning to grow in me where I felt as though I was crucial to the work that God is doing at Harris Creek. I also started feeling like I was holding things together both personally and professionally. Really, I was starting to shrink the universe down to my little world. I felt like the work I was doing was really important and much larger than it is in reality. The work I do is important because it involves speaking truth into people’s lives, but I am replaceable.
On Saturday, I went for a run and was gently reminded by the Spirit that I needed to get off the throne of my life. This was a lesson I learned through Jonah’s story a few months ago, and thankfully I was reminded of the importance of this message in Scripture. Biblical imagery of a throne usually represents a place of authority, power, majesty or splendor. When a king’s throne is mentioned in the Bible, it is almost always meant to signify their power and authority to rule. But the majority of references to thrones in Scripture are in reference to God’s throne (close to 60% of the total references). Scripture is sending a clear message: There is a throne in our universe, and God sits on it. I had to be gently reminded to vacate the throne of my life. I had to also remember that the world does not revolve around my little life.
The funny thing is, this new/old revelation didn’t make my work feel less insignificant. If anything, it put it into proper perspective and made it feel more meaningful in some ways. The world will go on when I am gone because God is who sustains this universe, not me. I imagine I will need to be reminded of this in the future, but it was good to get my perspective adjusted when I did. I guess what I relearned was that I can be involved in work that is meaningful and fulfilling without feeling like I am the one holding everything together.