Being a leader is rarely easy. People look to you for guidance, inspiration, order. You try to balance your many personal obligations with your responsibilities to Women of the ELCA. And sometimes, perhaps more often than you’d like to admit, your faith life suffers. There’s one more committee meeting to convene rather than spending extended time in prayer or Bible study. There’s planning to finish for the cluster meeting rather than worshiping God with others in your community. If you’re like me, you may have found that when the balance is off, not only does your faith life suffer, but also the vitality and fruitfulness of your ministry suffers. The real danger to those of us who see ourselves as doing God’s work is that we get so caught up in our ministries that we fail to recall and be with the very source of our life, God.
The twelfth century mystic, Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, understood this dilemma. “If you are wise,” Bernard wrote, “you will show yourself a reservoir and not a channel. For a channel pours out as fast as it takes in; but a reservoir waits until it is full before it overflows. And so communicates its surplus . . . We have all too few such reservoirs in the Church at present, though we have channels in plenty.”
So here you are, just as programming and activities pick up speed in September. How can you become that reservoir? How can you deepen your faith life and yet accomplish all that needs to be done? What faith disciplines can you engage in order to refocus your energies on the redeeming and reconciling love of God in Jesus Christ and realign your relationship with God?
The ever busy Linda Post Bushhkofsky is executive director.
Photo by justfluff, used with permission.