Pitstop

hans-eiskonen-136904-unsplash.jpg

I’m a lousy mechanic. Honestly. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea where to begin if my car broke down on the side of the road – although I do have a recollection of how to change a tyre (though it didn’t stop me from calling RACQ last time I had a flat). My mechanical ineptitude leaves me very dependent on those around me with the ability to think technically and to see things that I don’t (thanks Dad).

Whilst it is totally within the range of possibilities for me to learn mechanical basics – let’s be honest – I know what God blessed me with and what he didn’t. So I’ve made it a habit to check-in my faithful steed, Pam the Cam-ry, into the mechanics every 10,000 kms for a service.

Which is actually why I’m writing this piece this morning: I’m stranded at home whilst Pam gets serviced.

Now for those who know me well, you know that this presents a challenge. I find it hard to sit around and do nothing – I always have a drive to be productive in some capacity. Even on my days off:

“Who should I see today?”
“What should I be preparing for?”
“Go to the gym/run/etc.” (although it’s clear I take this option less)
“What work can you catch up on today?”
 

I wouldn’t call myself a full-blown workaholic, but I admit it: I have a resting problem. However, I do know my limits and have learnt what mechanisms I need to put in place to ensure I don’t burn up too much margin.

However, my habits have been put to the test these last couple of months: I’ve had a really large July and August. Between conferences, multiple weddings, travel, juggling two workplaces with four roles and events – it’s been a challenge. Compounding on this is that I’m currently also leading and planning two major events (*cough* like LOOK AGAIN! Suncoast Creative & Worship Conference – check out lookagainconference.com *cough*).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I LOVE what I do. In this season of my life, I feel a very clear mandate to BUILD so that the people that succeed me can begin on the foundations that myself and people before me have laid. To BUILD His Kingdom; to BUILD people (Nehemiah 6:3).

I’m currently gifted with time and circumstances at age 26 that I may not have the luxury of in later years, so in this season, I’ve accepted that I need to do now what I may not be able to do as much in the future.

But much like my car, Pam, who’s been travelling a fair bit as of recent, I too need to check-in for a service; a pitstop, you could say. A chance to repair, recharge and refuel as well as capture fresh imagination, inspiration and vision for the next leg of the journey.

Because as much as I’ve been called to build, I need to recognize that I’m really just a tool in the master builder’s hands. It’s He that ultimately builds His people, His church – we’re just some of the means (with our willingness to obey and learn paramount to our effectiveness). But after a consistent amount of use, even the best tools amongst us are due for a service. No matter our intentions, if we continue in that state, instead of being effective, we end up being of little use at best, most likely will collaterally damage others in the process and perhaps even begin a journey to complete internal disintegration at worst. This seems to be especially true if you’ve reached greater tiers of influence.

So these pitstops aren’t just a nice idea: they’re necessary (and I’m preaching to myself here).

I’m currently re-reading through Brian Houston’s book There Is More, and last night this passage jumped out at me:

“As a person in full-time ministry for many years, I have watched and even been caught up in the myth that “more is more” – that somehow competing and striving and proving is what gets us ahead and that more people, more conferences, and more services will please God. But the key to having the “full riches of complete understanding” (Colossians 2:2 NIVII) is to be born again by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Walking every day in devotion with the Word of God and in step with the promptings of His Spirit will lead you into grace, peace, and the abundant life of more than you ever asked for, dreamed, or imagined, not to a place of burnout, a frantic pace, and relentless pursuit of more time, more things, and more rest.”

Gee, thanks Brian. Thanks for punching me in the face with a timely reminder and with truth.

On the other hand, this morning, I started my day a little different. I woke up and watched Jimmy Kimmel’s most recent interviews with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West. They live very different lives from me, but I was inspired by the way they continue to try and effect change and progress with authenticity with the platforms they possess (waiting for the haters in the comments below). They’re definitely not perfect by any means, but they’re using what’s in their hands to effect change the best way they know how – and taking bold steps (not necessarily perfect steps) to do so.

What do Kanye and Kim have to do with this blog? Other than the fact that I’m the author and I can really write what I want, I believe that nothing significant comes about without a LOT of hustle. Those two are hustlers – always innovating, always trying something new. I always want to be in spot of “content, but not settled”: being thankful for what I have and what God has graced me with but yet continuing to push on and be faithful with what I believe God has called me to do.

But amongst the hustle, I have to learn to take a pitstop.
If I wanna be an effective hustler, I gotta take a pitstop.

I started this website just over a year ago as a platform to write and share my songs so that the lives of my readers and listeners would be enriched and strengthened – even if just for a few minutes.

However, just under a year ago, my life suddenly altered as I accepted the role as Creative Director at Suncoast Church: one which I did not foresee or desire, but one that I am ever grateful for. My world suddenly became much larger as my existing passions and desires merged with other pursuits and dreams. My personal songwriting and writing have taken a little bit of a necessary backburner – though trust me, they haven’t stopped – as I focus on people and projects that God has placed in my hand. Learning to juggle this balance between the former passions and the new hasn’t been easy, but it is a challenge that I cherish. I can celebrate the fact that within the last twelve months, I’ve been able to release two songs as well as been a part of large projects and have the honour of investing into peoples’ lives individually and building, shepherding and stewarding a creative team collectively.

You could say there’s a bit on my plate at the moment. But I’m continuing to embrace the stretch of this larger life so that if and when the future becomes larger for me again, I’ll be ready for it. But much like elastic, the need for me to rest and recharge is greater for me than it ever was – otherwise under too much, I’ll snap. And I value these opportunities too much for me to want to snap.

So, in closing, as much as I’m writing this blog for you dear reader, I’m writing it for me. Because as much as writing for me is for art, communication, persuasion and ministry; it’s also a means of expression, recreation and rest. Ironically, in writing a blog about rest (which you could argue is productivity), it is rest. If you want to find a more “finished” piece of my writing work, you can read my other blogs (which are great by the way 😉). But if you’re looking for rest, I pray you’d find it in firstly your Creator and then in whatever way God wired you to rest. Take a pitstop – I know I will.

I’ll see you out there on the road.

MD

 

Scriptures for Additional Reading

Nehemiah 6:3
2 Timothy 2:20-22
Matthew 11:28
Philippians 3:13-14

References

1. Photo by Hans Eiskonen on Unsplash

2.  Houston, B., 2018. There Is More. Penguin Random House Australia. pp 32-33

Mark DunlopComment