A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith

A Simple Life, a Childlike Faith


Wiggle room

posted by Linda G. Howard

Several years ago, as a few staff from Special Gathering were driving to lunch, we saw a man with a broken leg.  His cast extended from his toe to his hip.  With great difficulty, he was loading a lawnmower into a trailer.  There was a edger on the sidewalk, patiently waiting to be reloaded on to the trailer.  A couple of people in the car said, “That man is a small business owner.”  We all agreed.

I’m not sure how many folks are willing to do the kind of work demanded by the entrepeneur.  In many ways a pastor is an entrepeneur.  Our primary goal is always spiritual.  We are hoping to make an impact on lives, educating them about the most important thing in the world.  Nevertheless, we deal with staffing, volunteers, raising expenses, balancing and making a budget and many other financial and business matters.

Each of us who are building a ministry need some wiggle room.  Recently, at Special Gathering, we’ve been working with a new staff person.  She is wonderful and one of the most teachable people I’ve ever met.  There are so many things that a person who desires to excell in ministry must learn.

Perhaps the first is where is the wiggle room.  At Special Gathering, it was a great adjustment for me to learn where there was NO wiggle room.  I am the kind of person who has 17 irons plugged in ready to utilize.  My personality lends itself to having many projects going all at the same time.  The first year I was at Special Gathering, I maintained my positions in our church as Missions Director.  For twenty years before that time, I had at least one new book that I was authoring while planning magazine articles.  Music was a priority.  My list can go on and on.  One day, our executive director took me out to lunch.  After we had eaten, he folded his napkin and placed it on the table and folded his hands in front of me.  ”You need to decide if your priority will be Special Gathering or the 15 other things that are important to you.”

In short, he was saying that my life goal must not have wiggle room.  I must decide–and decide quickly–what my first priority will be and stick with it.  If God has called me to ministry to people with special needs, then I must continue on the path that leads me to that goal.  There are so many scriptures that teach this principle that my mind was immediately filled with pictures of men going to battle with an adequate army.

I could see my husband drawing detailed plans before we started an addition to our home.  I could remember negotiating with the bank to be sure that we had enough money to complete a project we were beginning.  I saw our family sending off our first son to college confident that we had the financial reserve needed to complete his education expenses.

While wiggle room is vital to maintain a healthy outlook,  a life’s goal cannot have wiggle room.  When did you discover your life’s goal?  How easy is it for you to keep your life’s goal paramount in your life?



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