Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gasping!

Yes, the frequency of new posts has slowed down quite a bit lately. Frankly, I’ve been gasping for air.

Some of this gasping is self-inflicted. I like to keep my plate full and run as fast as possible. Unfortunately, that doesn’t leave much capacity when the unexpected happens. Preparing materials for a second chair seminar this week, coaching two teams (the curse of overlapping basketball and softball seasons!), and some extra consulting and coaching are causing me to gasp right now.

Some of it is externally-driven. None of us, especially in the second chair, has complete control over our priorities and schedules. In this season, my first chair has become much more involved in the day-to-day and in reshaping priorities for all of the staff, and it’s consuming tremendous amounts of time and energy.

So what do I do in these seasons? I try to be sure and keep my early morning prayer time. In an earlier stage of life, that would have been the first thing to go, but I’ve learned how much I need that time with God. This week I’m giving thanks for a wife and family who extend grace to me when I get too busy for them. And I’m praying for my senior pastor, because God has helped me realize that his current actions are the result of a heavy burden that he is carrying.

I am also being much more careful with my calendar, trying to make time for the truly important things, and postponing those that can wait. When life is busy, I tend to crank up my pace, which has the downside of my being impatient or of people feeling like I have run over them. I’m trying to be careful about this. And in the midst of it all, I’m making sure that there is still some time for the things that help me relax – like watching some of the Winter Olympics or getting out for my regular pick-up basketball game.

I’ve prayed for this second chair community this week, because there’s been a sense that we’re all gasping lately. Likewise, I covet your prayers in this season.

5 comments:

Doug said...

I appreciate your candid blog. I have been struck with a similiar season recently and the need to stay connected to the Vine. I have been pondering the need to serve and live out of an overflow instead of a dried up well. I have a tendency to use up whatever reserves I have instead of streams of living water flowing from me (John 7:37-38). I don't know about you guys, but in my honest moments, my life is more like a dried up creek than an overflowing river. How important it is to get some face time with the Father like you mentioned.

DivaD said...

I couldn't have said either of those better myself. The Bible says that a broken spirit dries the bones. This 'season' has been so exhausting, frustrating, and even confusing at times trying to determine where certain reactions and responses are coming from with my first chair - and even myself - that I find I am fighting to keep my spirit from being broken... and myself from falling into the 'valley of the dry bones'.

I am having to pull away from some things pertaining to leadership, and restructuring, systems, tasks, etc. and allow my heart and mind to be refreshed by the Holy Spirit. I need His wisdom, His peace, His comfort, His strength, and His refreshing more today than I can ever remember before.

It has seemed lately as if, instead of the refreshing breeze of the Holy Spirit, that hurricane force winds have been swirling about threatening to blow me away - to knock my legs out from under me - to steal the breath of life from me. I can totally identify with the 'gasping' Mike speaks of. Just as in a natural hurricane we would reach out for something stable and anchored, during this time I know that I must reach out and grab hold of the one person that is always stable, strong enough to withstand the storm, and anchored... my Father God. The cool thing is, as I'm reaching out to Him - He's holding on to me as well and He'll never let me go. I'm simply looking - make that desperately longing - for the day when I can breathe in the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit instead of gasping for air in the gale force winds of a storm.

I, too, am praying for this 2nd chair community. Prayed this morning for Clayton, Jay, Marie, Doug, Mike, Roger, and 'anonymous' :o) by name asking God to strengthen and establish each one... that His peace would surround each... that His strength would fill and enable each...
Am praying that all will experience a personal 'touch' from the Father God who loves us all so deeply... that we will have the mind of Christ as well as reflect His heart and character... that God will send each of us others who will be supportive, helpful, loyal, truthful, and loving partners in ministry and/or in prayer... and mostly that He will enfold each one of us in His arms and reveal tangibly His overwhelming unconditional love.

Roger Patterson said...

Divad - thanks for praying for us all today. God is at work and it is in these seasons and storms that we learn to depend on Him. It is also in these times that we see just how empty we are and how much we really need Him.

Know that the enemy hates you and is trying to steal, kill, and destroy. He will try to reak havoc on your family, your team, families in your church, the guy or girl you all are close to reaching for the kingdom, etc. No one is off limits, so know that you are being hunted.

In the meantime, know that the battle is spiritual and that it is taking place in the spiritual realm. Go to your knees and ask God to open your spiritual eyes to the attack of the enemy. Put on the full armor of God so that after the evil one has thrown his darts and spears and all, you will be able to stand.

It has been a tough season for us all and I believe that this is no conincidence. But I also know, as you all do, that our God is so much greater than He that is in the world. Neither height, nor dept, nor angels nor demons. . . can seperate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

That is the good news!

We covet your prayers for our first ever Leading from the Second Chair conference in Springfield, Missouri on Thursday. We will be traveling from Houston to Springfield tomorrow (3/1) and are asking for great traveling mercies. Also, we are both quite tired, as Mike has already noted, but we want to minister out of the overflow to the 50 or so 2nd Chairs that are assembled. Won't you continue to lift us up? We really need it! We want to invest, train, equip, challenge, and support these great leaders who are doing the work of the Kingdom. We pray for breakthrough type experiences, knowing we have been led to this place.

Pray for Jay, as he is our gracious host, and I know he has plenty to do without hosting this conference.

Thanks for the community. It is good to share with you all.

Roger P

Jay said...

Hey Second Chairs!!

I missed our discussions over the past week or so...I'm glad to be back.

I've been gasping lately as well, but I know that God is bigger than any circumstance or situtation that may come my way. It isn't always easy to remember that in the midst of the storm, but its so true.

I'm so excited to be hosting Mike and Roger's first Second Chair Leaders Conference at my church tomorrow. I wish you could all be there as well, but certainly keep the conference in your prayers. I know that Mike and Roger have been working hard on getting the material together. I've had a blast talking to other second chair leaders about the conference. I know that God is going to use this conference to impact the lives of the leaders that attend and I know this is just a first step in an amazing ministry that Mike and Roger have to leaders in the second chair.

See you soon Roger and Mike!

Clayton Bell said...

ain't life grand?

I'd just repeat the great insights already spoken, so I'll just add my amen and prayers.

Jay, Roger, Mike...have fun this weekend. I'll see you in Atlanta, and then hopefully Tallahassee in the fall!