Getting Out of My Rut

I was coasting along and not doing much about anything, especially not serving…

During the fall of last year, I was at a crossroads of where I should serve in my church. Two ministry roles that I had been involved in for a significant amount of time had ended in the spring, and I began to just coast along with no motivation to seek a new place of serving.

I must admit I was in a selfish and lazy place.

I was in a rut and had no desire to pray where God was leading me to serve, but my sovereign God had perfect timing on a Sunday morning last January. As I was sitting at an intersection near the church, my pastor’s wife pulled up in a church van full of children across from me. She was in charge of picking up children in the lower-income area around our church on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. I immediately thought of the stories my mom had shared with me about my grandpa being involved in the bus ministry of their church in the 1960s.

My grandpa loved to drive the beat-up, old school bus which had been converted to pick up the children in the poor neighborhoods around their church. He often had to putter around with the church bus’s engine on Sunday mornings for thirty minutes before he could even get it running. I’ve heard stories of how my grandpa picked up a teenage boy with cerebral palsy and took him to church and how he befriended a high school boy and helped him learn to work on cars. My grandma even got involved by visiting the families of the children involved in the church bus ministry.

I continued my drive to church, and my heart felt burdened for those children.

I was humbled by the tremendous amount of time my pastor’s wife had given to this much-needed ministry. As it turned out, when I walked into Sunday School that morning, she was there pleading for help with the van ministry on Wednesday nights. I knew that God had made sure my eyes were very open to see the events He orchestrated on that Sunday morning.

I had a new ministry calling.

During the beginning of my volunteering with the van ministry, I began a study of the book of James.

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. {James 1:22-25}

I had become a person who was hearing the truth but failing to live it out.I was definitely not improving myself or growing in my relationship with the Lord and other Christians, and I certainly wasn’t serving.

But even now, as I’m walking in obedience and once again serving in my local church, I must admit it isn’t easy.

The children have wonderful energy, but it is often hard to find a balance of loving on them and having to discipline them. They often fall apart with the smallest act of correction, and it then becomes nearly impossible to get them back into a functioning mood the rest of the evening. Many of them often just want one on one attention and crave a kind word from an adult.

Every Wednesday night has been a challenge and a blessing for me as I help pick up, feed, and entertain the kids before choir starts.

Some weeks my co-volunteer and I leave feeling like we created a loving and peaceful environment for them; other weeks we leave defeated because we feel like overwhelmed failures that had absolutely no control over them. Even after Wednesday nights, when many of the children have cried because they don’t want to quit playing to go to choir or when none of them seem to be eating their dinner because they just don’t want hot dogs for the second week in a row, I still know I have found a ministry God has specifically called me to.

No matter how difficult it might be, it is so much better than simply coasting along.

 

 

A hospital pharmacist for the past 5 years, Alisia Baker is called “Aunt Ishy” by her niece and nephew and her co-workers because her name just isn’t that easy to pronounce. (It rhymes with “militia.”) She finally made the choice to go to college at Texas A&M after she found out that she couldn’t live out her childhood dream of watering the vegetables at the supermarket because her mom told her that machines do that job. She loves Michael W. Smith Christmas concerts, believes that there is a Steel Magnolias quote to fit any life situation, and thinks the best thing about being single is that she gets to spend every holiday with her own family. You can follow her on Twitter @alisiabaker.

 

*Photo credit: Lance Shields

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  • http://www.singlechristiangal.blogspot.com/ Gal

    It’s great to see that you have found something to do that not only glorifies God, but you seem to enjoy it.  Congratulations!