I used to love Sunday school as a kid. For two reasons, really. First because I really was that kid. You know, the know-it-all. I didn’t mean to be, but I loved learning and enjoyed being in an arena where I could show off because the Good Lord knows He didn’t make me athletic. The second reason was that the teacher, who happened to be my grandpa, frequently brought the class sausage breakfast burritos from McDonald’s. To this day I think of Sunday school with Grandpa Scott whenever I eat one of those burritos in all of its cheesy greasy glory.

In growing older, I started avoiding any kind of early morning church activities, preferring to sleep in on Sundays (judge me all you want). When that happened, my favorite part of the service became the worship time. This hasn’t changed for me since moving to Haiti. Recently, a visiting choir came to sing a song I had never heard before. The chorus is translated as:

If God didn’t say a word, we would die

If the Eternal One didn’t speak, we would perish

I appreciate how the song so bluntly spells out our need to hear from God.

You already know that life and ministry is built on the roller coaster of everyday life. Ups and downs. Wins and losses. The core team I work beside, made of Haitians and Americans, recently met to review how far the ups and downs of the year have brought us. 

  • Yes, last year, some in the family gardens program were taking supplies that didn’t belong to them. But this year the moms are working together to see that the gardens thrive and are pooling their resources for future plans.
  • No, we weren’t able to reconcile with a parent who had to be dismissed from the program for behavior issues. But this fall God brought us a wonderful new teacher for our growing preschool. 
  • Yeah, the adult literacy class hasn’t had the reception I hoped for. But a mom of seven has worked hard, faithfully studying her lessons, to set an example for her children. 

These are reminders of why we do what we do. Yet, in the daily grind, I tend to mix up the why for the what. Often that happens because I’m too consumed by the what’s such as: perfecting this one program, or breaking the cycle of poverty, or how to create sustainable change, or [insert the latest and greatest project here]. I forget to remember that the why gives everything meaning.

“…If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Christ Jesus, to whom belong the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”      – I Peter 4:11

Can I confess that it wounds my tender sensibilities to know that my “success” isn’t God’s end goal? To know that if the failure of my what’s will glorify God more than their perceived success, then to the glory of God may they crash and burn. 

We don’t (at least we shouldn’t) live in a Sunday school classroom with a brightly painted mural of Jesus surrounded by children of different hues as we recite the lesson that will get us through the week. I can attest to the fact that those easy Sunday Bible lessons I was taught don’t always hold the answer to the chaos this world harbors. Or do they?

Our Purpose: “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be the glory forever. Amen. ”                   -Romans 11:36

Our Method: “Therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”        – I Cor. 10:31

Our Hope: “For I know the thoughts I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart, I will be found by you…” – Jeremiah 29:11-14

 

Be blessed my friends,

Micah Aurand

 

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