Say Yes to the Bless
Wow, I don't know if I can look at myself the same after the cheesy title to this post. Please bear with me. As much as this title would make an epic sermon title for a prosperity preacher, that is not where I am going with this post.
My biggest weakness has often been the inability to say no to any requests, regardless of my willingness or time-constraints. One thing that I have learnt over the past three years at Seminary is how to say no.
On top of academic and formational requirements, seminarians are often invited to join different organisations and take part in a wide variety of activities. One has to quickly learn how to pick and choose to avoid being completely overwhelmed by their commitments.
Earlier this year, the chaplain of the Seminary asked me to consider coordinating the confirmation classes of the Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary Society. I told him that I would think about it, but I was immediately resistant to the idea. I was already feeling overwhelmed with the assigned coursework for our Honours program, and I was trying to avoid additional commitments as we wound down our final year at SMMS.
The more I considered it however, the more I realised how much I missed running confirmation courses and journeying with young people as they wrestled with their faith and grew in their understanding of God.
I decided to accept responsibility and run the confirmation program with my friend and fellow seminarian, Teboho Koedi.
After being reluctant at first, the following six months were the most enjoyable times of my three years at the Seminary. The strenuous work of preparing regular lessons paid off as I got to know some of the most loving and caring people. Their lighthearted humour and desire for knowledge was infectious. I learnt so much about God's love and grace during our sessions. It was a sad moment when we said goodbye after their recent confirmation service.
Boundaries are important. We need to learn to say no and protect ourselves from burn-out. But the confirmation class of 2019 has reminded me that we should prayerfully consider all of our options before automatically turning down every request. If we say no to everything that we don't feel like doing, we might be preventing ourselves from experiencing God's abundant blessing in our lives.
When we answer the call to partner with God, God works in the spaces that we create. Instead of closing spaces where God could use us, we should be creating more spaces for God to work in our lives. Perhaps we should be saying yes to the blessings that we might experience from creating spaces for God to work in us and through us.
God indeed works in strange ways. I experienced God's amazing grace through a confirmation program that I originally had no desire to be a part of. I am so thankful for the loving confirmees who were such great students and for Teboho who so graciously shared the workload with me throughout the year. I have been incredibly blessed by this program.
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
- Luke 6:38 (NIV)