I discovered something when I was writing my first book: I can get lost in writing. I can sit down in a chair, write straight through lunch and get up eight hours later with no recognition that time has changed. And then, if I really want, I could grab a bite to eat and then go sit back down and continue writing for a few more hours. When I write, I get in a hyper-focused flow of sorts that can be incredibly productive—but also incredibly broken.
I soon found out that if anything interrupted this hyper-focus, be it a child, a pet, or something else, I would easily lose myself in anger. In these moments, it felt as though my brain was being ripped in two different directions and didn’t know how to handle the extra input. I loved what I was doing, but it caused me to poorly treat the people I loved. The Holy Spirit eventually convicted me saying, “Jamin, what good is it to write a book about me if you lose your soul in the process?”
Jesus invites us to pick up our crosses and lose ourselves in him rather than in the world. What good is it to gain the whole world if we lose ourselves? This is a powerful question and many of us in ministry need to apply it to ourselves too. We often like to think that we’re picking up our crosses and following Jesus when we’re doing ministry, but there are times where our ministerial endeavors are really more about ourselves than about Christ. Every once in awhile we get our signals crossed and realize that the things we or our churches are doing are really more about being successful or acknowledged than they are about picking up crosses. So even in ministry, may we remember not to lose our souls to the world.
*This devotional was created out of the themes of Luke 9:18-27 found in today’s reading at CommonPrayer.net. You can read the longer version of today’s story here.