Daily Devotionals

Mental Nomads

Daniel Bramlett

I have a nomadic mind. It wanders from here to there and rarely finds one, single place to rest. I find my mind jumping from one topic to the next so often I have to hit the brakes and say “Let’s stay here for a little while longer!” This is a struggle for the mental nomad. It likes the ‘new’ that comes with a new idea, thought or conversation thread. It is much easier to spout out new ideas than it is to flesh out old ones. It is much more attractive to take on a new project than it is to finish one that has already been in the works for a while. Do you understand what I’m talking about? Does your mind like the portable tent mentality much more than the permanent home model?

If so, we must learn to discipline our wandering minds. I know it’s fun to roam but we’re not sheep herders. We have families and jobs and most importantly a calling that requires us to stay put. For that reason we need to retrain our minds. Here’s why. The obvious reason is we will never accomplish anything by running around all of the time. We can kill time, get hopes up and make some interesting posts on Facebook. That’s about it. The bigger reason our minds need taming is for the work of the ministry.

You may think I’m leaning towards a post for pastor types, but I am not. God has called and equipped every single person who has given their lives to Him for the work of the ministry. Every. Single. One. That means you. If you’re like me, your tendency in ministry is to hop from one thing to the next. This ministry training; that witnessing opportunity; this fundraiser; that block party…on and on we go without really making any lasting impact at all. We busy ourselves. We’re very good at that. We say all the right things and look really good while we’re doing them, but lasting impact? Very little to none. Where’s the breakdown?

God called the people of Israel out of exile for one purpose: to rebuild the Temple. The calling was expanded from there to the walls of Jerusalem and eventually their own homes and farms. But the original invitation was to rebuild the Temple. The people came back with gusto but as soon as the going got tough they bailed and went back to their homes and farms. Haggai tells us of their ill productivity. It was as if something (or Somebody) was holding them back! Nothing they did would get them ahead. No amount of energy or planning would render tangible gain. Enter the prophet Haggai. He told them “Consider your ways!” They had been called and equipped for one purpose: to build the Temple. Any project outside of that one purpose was fruitless and futile. It mattered not how good the idea was or pressing the need.

I have a feeling a lot of us are in the same boat and need a fresh warning from Haggai. What have you been called and equipped to do? Where do your gifts lie? What are you doing in conjunction with the Holy Spirit today that fulfills that Divine invitation to His glory and the good of those around you? If you have never considered this question and just assumed any work in and around the Church fulfills your calling, it is time to consider your ways. Anyone can teach children, but only those called to do so will make disciples out of those kiddos. Anyone can play an instrument (if they work at it) but only those called to do so will be able to lead the congregation in worship. Where are you most satisfied in the work of the ministry? In what areas do you feel you are really exercising your spiritual gift muscles? Regardless of need or requirements, that is the area you need to be squatting in. All wandering aside, build a slab and put up some walls. You’ve found your home.

I’m not just saying these things because I’m supposed to. This is my gift and I do feel most satisfied in equipping and encouraging the Body, but I am saying this because I see a large, frustrated collective Body of Christ all over the South that has largely given up on what it has been called to do. Instead it has settled for random events where one or two people exercise their gifts and the rest of us sit and listen. Praise God for those random events! I am not putting that down at all. I am suggesting our ministry calendars would be much more day to day and much more effective if we all picked up the trowel and worked on the corner of the ministry we have been called and gifted to shape.

My goal is to push back the darkness with the magnificent Light of Jesus. My goal is to see Southwest Arkansas overwhelmed by the glory of God and His incredible invitation to Life here and forever. That is something that no one of us can accomplish on our own. We ALL are required to plant our feet, fix our thoughts and train our hands for the work if this goal is to be accomplished. Are you willing? Say “Goodbye!” to the mobile mind and “Hello!” to one new permanent address! Jesus is calling. What will you say?

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