Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSPINNING MY GEARS: Mitigating Clogged Gears

SPINNING MY GEARS: Mitigating Clogged Gears

      Everyone experiences mornings where it takes intentionality to get up and going. There’s a need for a little extra motivation. For about three or four days a month, I quote Prov. 6:6-8 to myself. As I sit in the mornings lingering with a cooling cup of coffee, I say, “Go to the ant, thou sluggard…” Even on days when there’s no real struggle to get moving, when I awake alert, and am excited about getting my exercise time in before a shower, I have to remind myself to “consider” the ways of the ant and be wise. Even with all the motivation I should ever need, I am not always compelled to act.

      Every profession has its undesirable components. Boys and girls who dream of becoming teachers don’t get excited about navigating bureaucracy and spending time on lunch duty. Teachers became teachers because they wanted to have an impact on the lives of their students. I don’t know any engineers who, while training, looked forward to planning and budget meetings. They became engineers to apply their skills and knowledge to the real world. I don’t know any carpenters who look forward to reading over project specifications so they can submit a proposal. For that matter, I don’t know any stay-at-home mamas who relish cleaning up playdough that has been smeared into brick.

      When the time comes that we must overcome our fatigue or approach the tasks that drain us, what is it that gets our gears spinning?

      I have never met a pastor to whom the following does not apply. Pastors have the best job in the world. They love God’s Word, studying it and teaching it; they love people, caring for them and walking alongside them; they love missions, supporting it and being a part of it. There isn’t a downside to being a pastor. And despite that, I consider the ant every month, which has “no guide, overseer or ruler” so that my gears will start spinning.

      The reason for this fatigue is simple — we lose sight of what we’re working for so we can apply our focus to what we are working on. The solution is to keep our eyes fixed on our ultimate goal and understand how everything we do contributes to that larger vision. Consider four lies I avoid to keep my gears spinning:

         • Lie #1 — being busy is good for us. It feels good to be busy. When I have a lot on my plate, it makes me feel important. Having a full calendar boosts my self-confidence.

      Suppose caution isn’t taken toward busyness. In that case, it is easy to find ourselves moving in all directions simultaneously. We have a tremendous amount of potential energy. Still, it gets dispersed so quickly that we only make a tiny splash in what we’re trying to accomplish. When we become too busy, our gears quit spinning. We look back at the end of the day after working hard and giving it our all with little to nothing to show. When our phone chimes to wake us up the following day, we aren’t motivated because we didn’t see any rewarding results from our efforts the day before. Worst yet, if we become too busy, we will run out of time to consider God. “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him…” (Lam. 3:25 ESV).

         • Lie #2 — I can’t do “x” unless I have “y.” I am a dreamer. I frequently live in Mr. Bremer’s wonderful land of make-believe, where no obstacles keep me from achieving whatever I want. My church is loaded with professional educators. How many opportunities would there be for ministry if we provided meals and tutoring for students in our community? I daydream about these things often. Then, on the drive home, I remember that those meals will take money and labor; those teachers are tired from a day of work they’ve already put in, and we’ll need volunteers. Having your dreams crushed by the demands of reality stinks. It can cause us to feel powerless and unmotivated. There are limitations in life and ministry. We’re not going to build a new worship center without a budget for it. Fortunately, God does not say we need a worship center to do the work of the kingdom. If God has placed in your heart a desire to accomplish your goals, continue to seek Him to discover His plans. Be humble enough to admit that His ways are better than yours.

         • Lie #3 — I’m too good for this. Finding the garden hose and something to use as makeshift gloves to remove human feces from the church’s front porch didn’t seem like a part of my job description. I had already fixed the jumbled marquee sign that had been rearranged with profanity the night before. As I sprayed down poo-poo to the glory of God, I remember thinking about whether I had made my mother proud with my life choices. I considered why I was doing what I was doing. I didn’t want anyone else to see what I had seen. I wanted Christ’s church building to reflect His glory. I wanted to protect the testimony of our congregation.

      You’re not too good for it. It is because of God incarnate, who was too good to live among men, but did so anyway, that you and I have the kinship we have. Be warned that “everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord…” (Prov. 16:5 ESV).

         • Lie #4 — I need a plan before I do anything. Analysis paralysis is the phenomenon of getting stuck or bogged down in planning or contemplation. From a purely practical perspective, it is easier to fix something that is broken than to create something new. Beware of discouraging yourself by your inability to create something new and perfect from the beginning. Proverbs 16:3 (ESV) instructs us to “commit your (our) work to the Lord, and your (our) plans will be established.” My youthful experience has affirmed that over-planning gets in the way of what God is doing while simply getting to work honors God the most.

      This list is incomplete. These are the lies I have to watch out for to keep my gears spinning. You have your own, and I would love to hear them and write about them in the future. I’d love to hear what you have to share!

Derrick Bremer
Derrick Bremerhttp://www.dsmbc.org/derrick_bremer
Derrick A. Bremer grew up in Northwest Arkansas where he met his wife, Michelle, in their 9th grade English class. Derrick surrendered to the gospel ministry in 2018 at Temple Baptist Church of Rogers, Arkansas under the leadership of pastor Wade Allen. Derrick was ordained in 2020 when he was called to serve as the pastor of Denver Street Baptist Church in Greenwood, AR.