In case anyone reading this is wondering, the transition away from my former job as CEO of a couple of oilfield service companies for Bristol Bay Native Corporation seems complete. I have not looked back. Never have I felt that I did the wrong thing. If anything, I occasionally feel I waited too long. However, several, including my wife Martha have commented that I undoubtedly learned things in my “waiting” that will prove valuable in ministry and to be content. After all, it now is what it is. As Paul, another somewhat latecomer to ministry, once said, “I have learned to be content in every situation…” (Phil 4:11).
If anything has been hard, it has been the setting of boundaries. Most of you know, I am a “type A” driven type of personality. I have often spent too much time worrying, too much time working, and too little time recharging. This is nothing new and I seem to have brought that “baggage” with me into being Pastor at C3. I can see that the work will never really end – there is always another person I could call or meet, someone or something I could pray for, a sermon or worship service to get ahead on, or a new opportunity to share Christ’s love with others to explore. Sometimes I am tempted to think, “Yeah, but it’s for the Lord. After all, aren’t we supposed to die to ourselves and give ourselves away? And didn’t Jesus, even when He was tired, have compassion on the people and continue to serve?”
All these are true – to an extent. Jesus also spent much time in quiet with the Father (sometimes deep into the night), and He was even able to sleep in the back of a boat during a storm! Me, well, sleeping in a time of strife and struggle has never been easy. But, if I want to be like Jesus, I need to learn this secret. But I need help – help from the Holy Spirit and from those who love me - and accountability, so as not to burn out. I want to do this for years to come, not just a short season, Lord willing.
What can you do? If you are so inclined, I would ask you to feel free to ask me how I am doing, and if I am getting my Sabbath rest. With the realities of leading in some way on Sunday, it seems Monday will be my best “7th day”. And I need other times during the week and a vacation or two here and there.
I firmly believe that the passion I have for what we are doing at C3 is God-given. I continue to be amazed at how strongly I feel called to this work, and the number and significance of doors being opened. But it is nothing I can do alone, or in a day. Patience – yeah, not something I want to pray for, but something I do need. You have all blessed me so much. You will continue to do so as you encourage, pray for, partner with, and help me to take care of myself. That will indeed be a gift I will cherish.
~ Pastor Ben