I pulled up to the church and sat in my patched pickup, listening to worship music and watching the world go by. I found myself in no hurry to get out. I covet the solitude and enjoy watching the people scurry about at the same time.
It's a rare day — make that a rare 30 minutes — when I'm not engaged with another person. There's my wife and her honey-do list. I've been working on that list for 38 years. And if my wife doesn't require my help, my children need some attention from their father. Add in the demands of ministry, and someone's always knocking at my door. I wish sometimes I could replace that door with a wall, but I know that wouldn't be right. God has called and equipped me to be involved in people's lives.
Sometimes, these people just want you to walk alongside them. It gives them peace. Sometimes they want you to hold their hands. It gives them strength. Sometimes they want you to give them direction. It gives them hope. And others want you to help them pick up the pieces of a shattered life. It renews their spirits.
You can't do that kind of work with a shield around you. You have to allow people access to your life. Some may wipe the mud off their shoes and onto your heart. But that's what Jesus ministry is: walking out His life in a broken world.
Sitting in my truck, I have no demands on my time, resources, brain or life. I can sip coffee as I let the music take me to another place. Often, when I reach this Zen-like state, a conversation arises between the Lord and me. In these moments, the Lord reassures me that the Holy Trinity hasn't called an emergency meeting over my life. Everything is in His hands and happens according to His purposes.
I admire the life of Christ. He's taught me many things, but one of His qualities still missing from my life is His ability to routinely walk away from the world: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed” (Mark 1:35).
Jesus gives us permission to say no to the world, to walk away from life's hustle and bustle and into a place of peace.
We all need to find that place where we can be refreshed. That's where we can hear Him.
Walker Moore is president of AweStar Ministries of Tulsa.