I have always liked to wander around in the wilderness. Recently this small hobby has exploded. I have hiked in the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Masada in Israel, the Florida Trail, the Smoky Mountains, and the Great Appalachian Trail. There is something about getting away from everything. Away from cars, buildings, toys, television, netflix, facebook, phones, churches, homework (Amen?!) and civilization that forces me to contemplate. This doesn’t mean to think harder, or even to digest a scripture. But to sit with not one distraction. When I get to the top of a mountain what I see moves me.
In Israel when I reached to top of Masada and looked out and saw the gorgeous Dead Sea I was moved.
When I hiked through Bryce Canyon and saw the enormous weirdly shaped Rock Structures I was moved.
When I hiked in Grand Canyon and nearly slipped off a cliff I was…. well moved.
When I hiked in the Smoky’s and sat on a rock 6000 ft up and watch a storm roll over the mountains I was moved.
When I hiked on the Florida trail and watched a meteorite shower at night on a flat plain I was moved.
Being moved is not why I hike. Being moved is a nice feeling, but in time this feeling fades. Being moved is just an emotion.The closest I have ever felt to the creator is when I hike. This is the reason I hike. The goal of the Christian is not ministry. The goal of the Christian is not busyness that we believe somehow benefits God . The goal of the Christian is to know the father. This is the gift of Christ and Christianity, that we may grow to know the father. At times the veteran Christian gets so caught up in the work of the church whose goal is to teach others about the gospel that they themselves lose sight of the gift. We cannot forgo drawing close to the father, to create more time to tell others about the father. This is inauthentic evangelism. It is a robotic based message that is unattractive and worthless. It is important to understand that when I say worthless I mean worthless to the one giving not the one receiving. God can make the most worthless message diamonds in the ear of a receiver but when the giver is giving out of their own power and not both their power and God’s power it is worthless in relation to the giver. God does not need us to spread the good news (he needs nothing), but we need us to spread the good news because it gives us a purpose. This purpose comes comes hand in hand with the gift that Christ gave, for us to be re-united with the father. Out of being re-united with the father and growing towards him daily comes our purpose, comes evangelism, and comes ministry. Spending time with the father creates ministry naturally.
If you are, “Burned out” on ministry it is not because you are spending to much time at church, it is not because you are ministering to much, it is because you are not spending time with God to much. Being moved does not make your “cup runneth over.” A spiritual high at a Christian Concert does not make your, “cup runneth over.” The father makes your, “cup runneth over.” How does the father make your, “cup runneth over?” By you spending time with him, getting to know him, and seeking him. Every christian knows this verse.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in Green pastures: he leadeth me beside still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
I believe it is no coincidence that this Song speaks of green pastures, still waters, valley’s and nature. For me it is in the quiet moments on my hikes that my cup is set underneath a waterfall. What then can I do but rest in the fathers wonder.
In Israel when I reached to top of Masada and looked out and saw the gorgeous Dead Sea my cup ran over.
When I hiked through Bryce Canyon and saw the enormous weirdly shaped Rock Structures my cup ran over.
When I hiked in Grand Canyon and nearly slipped off a cliff … my cup definitely ran over.
When I hiked in the Smoky’s and sat on a rock 6000 ft up and watch a storm roll over the mountains my cup ran over.
When I hiked on the Florida trail and watched a meteorite shower at night on a flat plain my cup ran over.
In his glorious creation I am moved, my cup is filled, and most importantly I spend quality time with the creator of both me and you. If you are burned out on ministry heres some advice, take a hike.