I’m reading this book on leadership. I’m not a big reader. In fact, I’m a rather small one. I lean in on the, “I’m too busy” excuse.
This African proverb caught my attention:
“A gazelle wakes up every morning knowing that it will have to run faster than the fastest lion, in order to stay alive. A lion wakes up knowing it will have to run faster than the slowest gazelle, in order to stay alive. Whether you are a gazelle or a lion, you wake up every morning knowing that you will have to run faster to stay alive.
For the past week, I’ve been buried in the details of closing down the remaining pieces of my web company. It’s been an odd mixture of feelings. The closing of a chapter, a stressful and very ‘busy’ chapter. I ran fast, I worked hard, but it came a cost.
The pace of living in the former Soviet Union knows nothing of the furious western drive. For all it’s warts and wrinkles, the culture here values relationships over money – the result is a more sincere, deeper communal experience.
Being busy is great, we just need to be busy with the things that most edify and strengthen us along the way. It’s not a badge of honor in itself.
I’m legitimately excited, after 10yrs of dueling time zones, to be in just one culture.
The blessing of having foreign business income to fuel mission and our family is over. It plowed the way for our family to settle into Ukraine with housing, the Lighthouse Cafe, and an emerging family of new believers trusting in Jesus.
As I let go of one plow, I notice the Lord has fitted me with another. As director for Mir Ministries, we’re now overseeing additional commercial assets in the Russian speaking world and more projects to bring Jesus to a hungry generation. God doesn’t waste any of our experiences. I’m thankful for that.
It felt on most days the experience of running business was keeping me from ‘spiritual’ things, and yet, it was possibly the most forming spiritual experience of my life. I see young people shy away from responsibility, from stress, and from busy – I think that is a mistake. These things shape us into more useful tools, especially as we turn to Christ in weakness.
I’m thankful for the looming ‘extra bandwidth’ to tackle new challenges and grow in new ways. We’ll be less comfortable financially, depending exclusively on our home church and charity, but it feels right.
I’ve just started at Fuller Seminary, and embarking on a Master of Arts in Global Leadership (MAGL). Working on this part time and the various ministries in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia will be a challenge. I’m enthused to grow as a leader and serve more effectively inside the emerging church.
Please pray for our family and next season – I’m not sure how it can all work together, but I sense Him in it.
As the dusk settles over our forest, from this freshly re-purposed perch (girls bedroom turned office), I’m reminded just how unceasingly the world turns. It never stops, it never rests – but we can. That beautiful sunset was created for enjoyment, for me.
|We rest on Thee, our Shield and our Defender;
We go not forth alone against the foe;
Strong in Thy strength, safe in Thy keeping tender.
We rest on Thee, and in Thy Name we go. ** last song sung by Nate Saint and Jim Elliot before they entered the jungle in 1956 to reach the Waorni tribe in Ecuador.