October 2018: Availability
“I pride myself on being available 24/7/365,” said a pastor who shall remain unnamed. I’m sure that made his congregation very happy. However, the key word in that sentence is PRIDE.
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, "Everyone is looking for You. You’re not answering your phone. You haven’t replied to any texts. Why haven’t you answered my email?
They were expecting you at this event!" (Mark 1:35-37. That last part might be Revised Kline Version.)
Jesus was always available to the Father. He was often available to people. For multiple reasons, Jesus was not always in the office or online. In a world and age where some people expect 24/7/365 availability and instant response to every text, email, Messenger, phone call, invitation, and event, it can be really hard to set healthy boundaries.
I’m in a very tough season right now: both parents (two hours away) are aging and ailing, with my father descending into Alzheimer’s. For a while, my life has had two parts: ministry and caretaking. So many of you can relate.
Then I became quite ill. I have a team of specialists working, but in layman’s terms, my lungs are broken. We don’t yet have the exact diagnosis, so I would rather not share details. We don’t all need to be googling, freaking out, and giving advice. But I would appreciate prayer for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.
It’s frustrating. I have places to go, people to see, things to do. I want my oomph back! It’s humbling when you can’t do what the other kids do. But right now, I need to keep a different set of priorities.
So, if I have not returned your call or email yet, if I have had to cancel an event, if I have not been able to be present for you in some way, please forgive me. I want to be available. I want to come alongside people. I am so grateful to do what I do. I truly love the people God brings into my life. I want to be “all there” with others. But I am not available 24/7, especially right now.
I think that’s okay. My goal in all ministry is to foster greater and deeper dependence upon God, not on Linda Kline. May we come alongside to love, encourage, and edify one another, but always point past ourselves and cast our dependence upon God Himself.
“Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:7) That’s my current job description. Flex and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to flex and obey.