Anyone who reads or glances through Paul’s letters will see encouragement to continue living a godly life. It’s easy to get sidetracked when ministry gets overwhelming with the rushing current of week-to-week tasks and events.
What I see the most is not a catastrophic failure but a slow leak from the hustle.
What do I mean by the slow leak?
I remember teaching 2 Timothy 2 in youth ministry years ago and titling the message sanctified containers. Studying through it, I just had this glimpse of what I saw painted through the words of the passage.
Youth ministry wouldn’t be youth ministry without an illustration to help students understand, right?
The idea was that we are either vessels of honorable or dishonorable use, according to how we engage the disciplines of our faith.
If we are these useful “containers,” why are we sometimes unable to hold water?
I believe it is the small things that make us containers that don’t hold water.
Recently, I was starting to feel a little run down with so many things going on outside of service times with winter camp days coming. I decided to make sure it didn’t get worse, so I drank some hot tea with honey and took it easy.
Well, with my hot tea in my mug, I got up to make sure the kids were ready, so we could head out the door for school. The tea was too hot to drink, so I let it sit until I got to my office; the mug was insulated so it would take a while for tea to get down to a drinkable temp.
Once I could drink it, I took a big sip only to feel half to it shoot straight up my nose! It had a lid that allowed you to sip from it, so I figured I didn’t seal it well; user error. I took a few more sips, still having some leakage but didn’t think anything of it. Then I see it! A crack in the lid from one side to the other.
I was upset; I liked this cup! I can’t use this cup anymore, or at least not the way I used to. How did this happen? I didn’t drop it, or did I? I instantly thought back and tried to remember what I did that morning or maybe another time, but nothing.
We get preoccupied, inundated with tasks, services, events, games, conversations, and forget to make sure we are healthy. Are we still holding water?
It’s not always an inability to serve or be used by God, but when we don’t pay attention to ourselves while we are getting beat up, we slowly become ineffective.
2 Timothy 2:21
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
Are we able to hold water?
While tasks are necessary, I encourage you not to let them rob you of the primary responsibility we have as followers of Christ to be like an athlete. Training to maintain and endure but with purpose.
Surround yourself with people who check for those leaks and look to God to maintain the ability to be used for the purpose He called you to.
Manny Hernandez is the High School Pastor at Desert Springs Community Church in Goodyear, AZ