THE RESTLESS PERSON

1 QUOTE & 1 REFLECTION – In a time of crisis restlessness multiplies restlessness.

“A restless work style produces a restless person.”

G. Macdonald, Ordering your private world, p196.

Many of us finding ourselves in crisis leadership situations at the moment, we are also working from home. The place we rest has become the place we work and for many of us the place we raise our children. It makes switching off about as easy as riding a unicycle on a tightrope while juggling flaming torches (okay maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration).

The quote above from G. MacDonald could well be a help to us as we seek to lead Jesus’ church well, and make our decisions from a deep place of rest in who God is rather than a restlessness in the inadequacy of who we are.

In the quote G. MacDonald suggests that not only does restless work come from a restless person, but restless work can also lead to a restless person. In other words while endless activity can be a symptom of an anxious heart, it can also be the cause of it.

not only does restless work come from a restless person, but restless work can also lead to a restless person.


HOW DOES THE GOSPEL HELP US?

In the movie Catch Me If You Can, upon receiving an award for his work, Frank Abagnale tells this story:

“Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out. Gentlemen, as of this moment, I am that second mouse.”

It’s important in this crisis that we don’t fall into the trap of thinking that we are the second mouse; that our productivity is the answer to all our problems. The gospel tells us we are not rescued by our work, but by Jesus’. All our work flows from Christ’s work on the cross and all our work is dependent on His work in the world. Our churches do not ultimately depend on us, they absolutely depend on Him. As leaders, we can find rest in this.

Our churches do not ultimately depend on us, they absolutely depend on Him.

G. MACDONALD’S ADVICE

A restless work style produces a restless person. Work that goes on month after month without a genuine pause to inquire of its meaning and purpose may swell the bank account and enhance the professional reputation. But it will drain the private world of vitality and joy. How important to regularly close loops on our activity.

According to MacDonald, the cure for a restless person? Is restful productivity. To work from a place of rest. To practice the art of regular pauses.

If you are restless right now, change your work style if you have to. Give your soul room to breathe. By regularly closing loops on your activity you will remind yourself to trust God with the things that matter most; you will remind yourself that your work is not the same as His work; that what the church needs most is Jesus, not you. Who knows? By closing the loops of our activity regularly, we may find in the midst of crisis, that we lead from an inner world full of vitality and joy. What would Jesus’ church look like if we all led from that kind of space?

In a time of crisis, our churches need healthy leaders not restless ones.

The work of Jesus in our lives produces restful, rather than endless, productivity. In a time of crisis, our churches need healthy leaders not restless ones.

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