Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A New Adventure Pt. 30 Spinning Plates

               Sometimes I just want to give up. I just want to throw in the towel and find something else to do. I am overwhelmed with calls, texts, emails, needs of family, needs of friends, and a deep desire to just escape into a world all by myself. Some of you reading these words are automatically thinking that I have too much on my plate. I need to slow down and rest. You would probably look at my life and think I have lost my mind. I am like the circus act that tries to spin too many plates all at one time. I had friend tell me once that I reminded her of a duck. She said that when she looked at my life she saw a duck swimming on a pond, all peaceful and serene on the top, but underneath those little legs were pushing a hundred miles an hour. But sometimes, this duck just wants to give up. Sometimes, I just want to quit this circus and let someone else spin these plates!
               Occasionally the weight and burdens of life overtake me and I just want to go away to a secret island where no one knows my name. But it is not in my character or my personality to let one of these plates fall. It is not in me to give up, to throw in the towel or to give in at all. One of the things that I learned very quickly when it comes to owning and operating my own business is that time is not something you really have control over anymore. If I let the business plate quit spinning, then the whole thing falls. My days get consumed pretty quickly with the needs and demands of the business. Some days come so fast that I don’t even have time to drink a cup of coffee before it gets cold. It is hard to balance your life when you own your own business. But balance is what we need if we don’t want those plates to fall, and no matter how much we see those plates wobble, we cannot lose heart.
               “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 ESV
               The company I own and operate is not just a business it is a ministry. It is an opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone I meet. I have been able to share my testimony with clients. I have been able to pray with them and for them. I have been able to answer questions from one of my pet sitters about some things she read in the Bible. I have met clients who have since become friends and sisters in Christ. I have seen God do amazing things through this business. But sometimes, I lose that focus. Sometimes, I need to be reminded that He started this work; He will complete it for His glory and for my good.
               Paul tells us that we have this treasure in jars of clay and the reason why we have this treasure is to show others the power of God. There is a purpose and a reason for every single thing that happens to you. Don’t ever forget that. There is a reason for it. Say that to yourself when you are stressing over how you are going to make payroll this week, or when the calls stop coming and times get slow. There is a reason for it all.
               This treasure that we have been given is the knowledge of Jesus Christ. In verse 6 of 2 Corinthians 4, Paul tells us that God has “shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6) We have but one common purpose in all that we say and all that we do, and that is to shine the light of Jesus into everyone. If I forget that then this business, this life that I live will overtake me and over run me, and all these plates that I have spinning will come crashing down on my head.
               The whole purpose for this life of mine is to be a vessel filled with His light so that others might get to see Him and know Him through me. Think about the disciples and how much time they spent with Jesus. Day after day they walked with Him and talked with Him and He became a part of them. After He ascended into heaven, that same light that filled Him, which we know is the Holy Spirit, came to dwell in each disciple. From that moment on, whoever they met and whatever they went through served a purpose, and that purpose was to show forth the life, the love and the light of Jesus Christ. We cannot lose sight of this truth.
               The plates that I spin every day have a purpose and a place and God wants to use every single one of them to show forth the life of Jesus Christ. I have had so many people tell me I take on too much. They tell me I just need to learn to say no to people. But, in business, that one no could lead to them going somewhere else, and I not only lost out on their business, but their friends business, and all the people they could bring my way. So that one no could cost me more in the long run. I don’t see the burdens and needs of others as something I can turn away if it is within me to do it. If I can provide a relief, an answer or a shoulder to carry their troubles for even one hour, then shouldn’t I at least try? Didn’t Jesus do the same for me? Didn’t He carry my cross all the way to Calvary? We have this treasure in jars of clay, and if we lose sight of that, then we have lost the light of Jesus in these simple jars of clay.
               I believe this is why Paul could say that even though he was afflicted in every way he was not crushed because he knew that each passing moment was an opportunity to share Christ. No matter how much I want to give up sometimes, no matter how many times I just want to fly away, He always brings me back to His feet, and reminds me that it is not about me.
               My purpose, my strength, and the ability to carry the weight is not dependent upon me. It’s dependent upon Him and all that He has done for me. When people ask me how I do it; how do I run a company, lead a bible study, write blogs, books and manage a family without going stark raving mad, my response is to tell them about my Jesus, and how He does it all through me. There is nothing in me that has the ability to do all that I do. But in Christ I am able to do all things. (Philippians 4:3) Do not lose heart, don’t give up and no matter what, keep those plates spinning. We may be afflicted, but He won’t let us be crushed. We may be perplexed, but He is right next to us to give us wisdom so we will not despair. We may be persecuted but He will never leave our side. We may be struck down but He will not let us be destroyed.
             There is a purpose and a reason for this path you are on. There is a purpose and reason for the struggles you are facing. Do not lose heart my friend, and do not give up. Let the light of the knowledge of Jesus be your strength and let others see Him in you. This is your circus, and these are your plates. Amen.