The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Do you remember the first time you were driving and said something like, “That kid’s not old enough to drive”? On the other hand, do you remember what it was like to be that first-time driver (who might have heard many people honking at them)? Those moments later in life show growth, maturity, and probably just plain agitation at a younger generation. What fascinates me is what takes us from the first moment of excitement that becomes the drag of duty. What makes the inspirational become drudgery? What causes us to forsake our first love?
I have a theory that we tend have circular movement. There are seasons, rotations, and “sweet spots” we come back to again and again.
All good things–all things that matter–are circular. For example, I found a notebook from when I was about 12 years old. I hadn’t looked at it forever, so I forgot what it was. It ended up being a summary or a lesson of Bible passages that I was reading daily. I used to (and still) read the Bible all the way through, sometimes in a year, one passage at a time. For me, it’s the habit that counts.
And that habit has come back around in a full circle.
In addition, what I found so fascinating about the notebook is that it’s exactly what I do in these blogs. Read a passage, reflect on it, and then write about it. Writing, or journaling, helps to evaluate experience, and John Maxwell states that evaluated experience is more valuable than just experience. Writing also helps keep the lesson more ingrained and therefore more lived out than if I just heard or read it and did nothing about it (see James 1:23).
The older I get, and the more I reflect, the more I see myself living out what I was as a child. Yet, I’m not always thrilled about finding a pen and writing what I’m learning. It’s not always what gets me going in the morning. What I forget are the excitement and inspiration. I’ve been hardened by the years of expectations, of “been there, done that,” and of judging others who are just beginning.
Do you remember that initial spark of something grand? It’s like when the disciples saw Jesus calm the waves. They were like, “Did you see that? This guy is legit!” And they didn’t even see the big miracles yet—the ones that would blow their minds. I suppose the disciples had their moments of “ho-hums,” especially after Jesus was no longer on the planet. That’s why there’s so much encouragement in the New Testament; Because initial sparks can die down and keeping the flame alive takes work. Sometimes a wintery season of stillness is okay if the spring blooming is on the way.
If you are feeling like you’re in the drag of duty and going through the motions, try some of these possibilities:
- Write down what sparked it all. What did you feel then, and what have you learned since then?
- Review what you had journaled during those first days of excitement or talk to someone who had been core to the beginning.
- Give yourself grace if you are in a season of growth or pausing. What is that thing that you are looking forward to, and how can you take one step toward that today?
- Let Jesus know how you are feeling and ask for a bit of direction.
- Remember the days when you couldn’t wait to get out of bed to tackle the day. You’ll remember how Jesus had just calmed the sea, but it took your breath away.
- Discover the habits that came from those beginning moments, how you’ve come to depend on Jesus for the minor miracles while you seek out the major miracles.
If you are a nonprofit leader, or volunteer, or a community member (I think that covers us all!), there will be moments of boredom. But, with Jesus, you will find the motivation to keep going just like in the early days.
What do you do to get excited about work again? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks
Pre-order Hopelessly Hopeful During Separation, a 28-day devotional for people who are separated from their spouse because of marital struggles, before September 28, 2021. A pre-order helps make the book more visible on September 28. Thanks!!
Photos by Mollie Bond
© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.