Monday, July 5, 2010

Whaling into Projects with Abandon

Randy has this amazing ability to work without regard for messes, stained clothes, or scratches. In contrast, I have to wear an apron even when making toast! Now his unique ability can be frustrating to a wife who watches him tie into an emergency repair with absolutely no regard for his new shirt! However, I have also realized what a benefit this ability is in enabling him to tackle any project with all his energy. He easily eliminates risks that could hold him back. He’s not bothered with the danger of getting burnt or scratched, dinged or damaged. A potential acid burn on his shirt never holds him back from tackling a grungy repair. He throws himself fully into projects or construction virtually risk-free.

Maybe this is a guy thing or maybe it’s a personality thing, but I could use at least some of this care-free approach when tackling my projects and ministry. If I am constantly hampered by the what-ifs that flood my mind, I will be tempted to quit before I start. I do think it is a personality thing, but I wonder if it also has to do with values. Now I might step on a lot of toes, mine included, but the truth is that for Randy, the completed project, or the repaired brake line or other critical part, are far more valuable than a paltry pair of jeans or safari shirt! And rightly so! Most often his projects and repairs are critical to our ministry – much more critical than preserving a sharp appearance.

So, when tackling projects, I can ask myself what my real concerns are. Who or what am I really doing this for? Is this really about serving the kingdom or is there an awful lot of concern for me, my appearance, my image, and what I look like at the far end of this trail?

I have to say, that when Randy tackles a project, he doesn’t give a whisker of time to these questions because they are already programmed in his approach to life. And I think that is the same way Jesus approached ministry. He had already determined what was important for his life and serving. When risks of criticism or possible attempts on his life were required he plunged right in because he had already eliminated those risks as obstacles to obedience. And for me and others like me, if we constantly work on chiseling out some of these issues in our own lives, we might find ourselves whaling into projects and ministry with just as much abandon. Here’s to risk-free obedience.

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