We are well into September. The rains have come to Tucson, taking away the hot edge of summer. We are beginning to get into the groove of our small groups. I wanted to give you an idea of what ministry looks like by describing the ups and downs of ministry.
The first week of school, my co-leader, Andrea, and I were excited about our small group. We had a fun activity planned and we had loads of contacts that we invited. Many of them seemed interested. We had prayed and planned, we were expectant about what God was going to do through our group this semester.
Wednesday night came around . . .
Two girls showed up.
One was a senior who was already dedicated to my small group from last year and one was a freshman that admitted she was going to go to another event with her roommate but came because I was already downstairs at her dorm to pick her up. She also mentioned that she probably was going to go to Young Life, another ministry on campus.
We tried not to be disappointed, but both of us later admitted to each other that we went home, discouraged, to our husbands who valiantly encouraged us. We had prayed, pursued, texted, called, loved, gifted, believed. We knew there was a whole semester to grow our small group, but we were simply tired.
We rested that weekend and came the next week refreshed and renewed. We decided we needed a few more contacts, after all, only 40% of people who are interested actually come!
The second week of school, we had 9 girls at our small group. 4 of them were freshmen and 5 of them were new!
Then the third week of school, we had 3 more new girls come to our small group!
After our third small group, I was driving home and I began to worry…How would be able to mentor all these girls with just the 2 of us? How would we get close and intimate as a group with so many girls coming? How could we reach the campus if our group was already so full?
I’m presently reading a devotional book in which it talks about seasons or courses. Imagine that life was a big Chinese banquet, and each course was a delicious plate, no one better than the other, each one to be enjoyed as it was, alone. Though the plates had a continuity, they also could each be appreciated on its own. Unlike an American meal, where the appetizer is simply a filler and the salad simply a way to get something healthy in before the MAIN EVENT, this banquet is to experience each course, each season, each moment, in its full. It isn’t to look longingly back at a plate before or the plate to come.
I struggle with this often. I am always trying to plan for the future, only seeing what needs to be fixed in the situation or how I can be ready for what’s to come. God is disciplining me, teaching me to enjoy each course, to savor each plate for what it is.
As I was driving, I told myself STOP. Just enjoy this moment. Enjoy these women that came. Enjoy the fun that you are having. Enjoy that YOU DON’T KNOW. I’m still in the process of learning this, but the truth is, I am also learning to enjoy the tension of things still undone or incomplete, questions unanswered and futures unresolved.