In the last week or so I’ve gradually begun piecing something together. I’m slowly gaining a sense of what it feels like to forget God in prosperity. And it’s freaking me out.
Now, I don’t claim to have an unblemished record when it comes to remembering and thanking God for his constant provision. But that I think I’m finally starting to pay attention to the dynamic Moses lays bare in Deuteronomy 8.
You see, for possibly the first time since I started getting paid to work in church contexts, I’ve found myself waking up full of energy and ideas.
What’s the problem with that?
The problem is that I’m struggling to switch off.
I suspect this is bad for my long term sustainability and mental health. And I’m sure it’s bad for relationship with Natalie — especially while we’re both working from home (as we have been for the past month or so).
Worse, it’s caught me totally unprepared.
My struggle in the past was always working out how not to be overwhelmed by my responsibilities and the things that needed doing. Learning to switch off was a matter of survival — it was about keeping my head above water.
But now I walk away from every planning meeting buzzing, itching to tackle my ever-lengthening To Do list. And rather than feeling crushed by the burning pastoral issues afflicting the people I’m serving among, I’m thoroughly energised by the whiff I’ve got of what God might do in and through us.
It’s not even that what’s happening is necessarily any more or less successful and prosperous objectively. Simply that I feel differently about it this time around.
So to adapt the words of Deuteronomy 8.17-18, I fear I’m in mortal danger of saying, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this’ — forgetting that it’s God who gives the power in fulfilment of his promises.