I was having a text conversation with my friend Sarah last night at the end of a long day. We were sharing the gist of our days with each other, her telling me about her daughter Kayla’s stuffy nose and me reporting to her the exact breakdown of my day because it was such a sardine-packed day in the midst of a sardine-packed week.
In the midst of the semi-whining I stopped for a while and suddenly something dawned on me, and I texted Sarah: “I’m finding that this season, despite being so much busier than previous times, I can get through the days adequately stable emotionally. I think I’ve levelled up to a new normal.”
Her next text said that she indeed can sense this “new normal” in me and that she’s really liking it. I’m so grateful for the cheerleader friend I have in her, and ever more grateful for our friendship that has weathered through our good and bad seasons together. From university graduation to our teething challenges as newbie teachers, to her entering a new stage into married life and eventually motherhood, and my transition from teaching into pastoral ministry, we have remained and still do remain close friends through all of the joys and anguishes that come with the whole mix.
In this same week where I’m realising my “new normal”, the Lord dropped in my heart a concept that I should know well, but haven’t quite internalised well until now.
One night I was working on some ministry planning till the wee hours of the night. I found myself muttering, “Sheesh this admin is really a monster.” But I also was able to quickly take captive that thought and tutor my heart not to whine. It was then that I heard in my heart, “Sam, you’re not labouring for nothing. All this paperwork, you’re planting seeds now for future trees. I will give the growth.”
The new normal came with a new perspective. Administration is more than paper; in growing a church, it’s about planting future trees. When the systems, structures and processes work, the people are blessed.
My professor at Bible school today said this: “The church is an organism, but it is also an organisation.” Word.
So how about you? Are you struggling with your current pace of life, or have you found God giving you the grace to level up into a new normal too?