I drop a bombshell of truth in the last chapter of my next book (coming February of 2018!).
This is my bombshell– a fact few people realize about me: I don’t actually participate in my church’s meal ministry. I can feel your horror and surprise from here. I must seem callous and uncaring.
It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I don’t cook.
Not well, anyway. To be precise, it’s not the actual cooking that’s the trouble; the problem is that what I consider dinner is kind of weird. For example:
- An English muffin with peanut butter.
- A banana and a cold hot dog.
- Noodles cooked in butter, and also popcorn for a side dish.
YOU SEE HOW THOSE IN NEED MIGHT NOT BE COMFORTED BY MY CHOICES.
Obviously I don’t feed my family these freakish combinations for dinner (not usually, anyway). As a mature adult I can prepare a real meal with protein and vegetables and everything. But I can guarantee you that most nights three of the four of us in this house don’t actually like what I make. And with our gluten/dairy/sugar/fat issues, we frequently eat a rotation of raw vegetables, a lean protein, and brown rice.
Still not exactly something you deliver to a new mother. “Here, beloved woman who just bore life onto the earth. I have a dried up chicken breast and a pile of lettuce for you. Be blessed.” That woman would take the lettuce and weep into it a little, probably.
I was part of the church’s meal ministry, taking food to those who were ill or had just had a baby, for quite a few years.
Until the day I had to take food to another family and I had a meltdown when I didn’t have the right containers to deliver soup to the new mother, and that was it for me. I just couldn’t handle the stress of deciding what to make, actually making it, and then locating the proper vessels for delivery.
I opted out.
I said no, and God did not, in fact, smite me.
My stress load lifted considerably, life continued, and I still had loads of other ways to minister to our congregation. I’ve taught Sunday school class, worked with the financial team, scrubbed dishes, and hosted small group at my house.
None of these things have involved crying into lettuce.
Even better– when I’m doing the things I love to do, the cooks in the congregation can do what they do best. They might not enjoy balancing the Sunday deposit from the offering, but maybe they can create an entire meal and then deliver it with joy.
GOOD FOR THEM. Good for all of us.
So this is my encouragement for you today: you don’t have to do all the things. If there’s something really stressing you out about your ministry or home or family life, you get to choose. You can let it go and serve elsewhere.
I promise this is true.
I promise you have options, and serving others takes many, many forms. Serve with your gifts, not with your guilt. You won’t believe how much more delightful life becomes.
What about you?
Do you have a particular thing you hate to do? What would happen if you opted out? I’d love to know.