“Come waste your time with me.” A line from one of my favorite bands “Phish.” As someone who works in student ministry, you might be thinking….waste what? Time? Truth is, there’s a lot of us who feel a little bit of guilt when we read that line. The concept of being able to “waste time” by doing something we enjoy with people we enjoy feels incredibly intoxicating! Your heart might begin to race as you think of sitting around a fire, throwing a ball with your buddy, or chatting about watching Full House reruns. Then right when you get to the point of dreaming about how you’re actually going to waste your time, you feel at war with the other side of you that says, “Really? You’re going to sit around a fire and talk about Jesse’s hair? Wow, you’re a really great pastor! It doesn’t matter, now get back to work.”
Maybe I’m way off, but I sense that there are a lot of us who experience this. On one hand you have your ministry, the goals you want to accomplish, vision you want to flush out, and leaders you want to train. On the other hand, you have that hobby, guilty pleasure, or friend that you want to hang out with. When you compare the two, the latter seem to have zero impact on your ministry, so you push it onto the back burner.
Sometimes in ministry we are convinced that everything matters—every second, every task, every conversation. And it’s this endless ‘mattering’ that can at times make ministry an impossible burden.
I read a blog by one of my buddies Jeff Heidkamp who’s the pastor at Mercy Vineyard in Minneapolis, MN. He wrote this in one of his blogs:
Unhealthy spirituality would probably reject baseball as a waste of time because it takes away from doing the things that really matter. Healthy spirituality lives in a humility that allows us to celebrate rather than castigate our creatureliness.
Jeff has a renowned passion for reading, watching, and talking anything to do with baseball. Some might say scoff and say “waste of time!”
But is it really?
“God made us not only to steward his creation, but also to enjoy it.” I feel like Jeff got this right. So my question is this. Do you have something or someone you’ve been dreaming about “wasting some time with?”
I implore you to take some time and converse with God, your friends, your spouse and explore if there’s something you’ve been dreaming about that you’ve put off because of the “endless mattering.” So go build a fire, join a book club, or maybe even resurrect that garage band with your old high school buddies. You might be surprised just how much life it will bring.
- Red Envelope - April 29, 2013
- Embrace the Small Stuff - July 17, 2012
- How Wasting Time Could Save Your Life - April 29, 2011
Kris, your article reminded me of a book by my friend and colleague, Klaus Issler. If you haven’t seen it, you might be interested in his book, *Wasting Time with God* (http://amzn.to/io9Toq).
I think that a Christian spirituality that doesn’t integrate with our creatureliness and everyday existence might very well be more akin to a “gnostic” spirituality than not.