Formerly of Borrodale Road, Kingsford
Any association with current residents of Borrodale College is purely coincidental. Please don't pester them for the sins of their forebears.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Seeing the Forest through all the Trees

It's been a funny kind of year for me, since the last Borrodalian. I have moved out of Borrodale, preferring the company of my new wife to the new Borrodale tenants, and am now situated in an apartment in Kensington. So I guess I've moved up in the Eastern Suburban hierarchy.

This being my final year of uni has made for some changes to the way I work, as most of the workload is highly self-directed. There are very few specific goals set for me by anyone except myself, but I know there is an external expectation on me to do an awful lot of work this year. So a rather serious challenge has been to work out exactly what goals to set and deciding if I'm a) kidding myself or b) being plain lazy.

As I've prepared to enter the "workforce" next year (sounds like one of those home renovation shows) I've thought a lot about what kind of ministry to engage in, and how to fit in all the pieces like evangelism, bible study, exemplar behaviour and speech, deep relationship and prayer.

One of the clear realisations I've come to is how much I tend to totally miss opportunities because I'm too busy looking for opportunities. That is, as I seek to engage in any kind of ministry to the people around me, I can be so concerned with the "large" goals and the "large" tasks that I completely overlook opportunities for small victories. My attitude to ministry should not be "today I'm going to convert X and tomorrow I'll start on Y", because goals like that are bound to fail (when placed on myself, that is. God can, and does sometimes, work amazingly, and quickly). By concentrating instead on simply being loving and being generous and being a kingdom person, I am able to stop thinking about all that I'm doing, and instead willingly allow God to work through all the little parts of my life for His greater plan. So to explain the title of my post, I need to appreciate each tree as a small part of a much greater forest.

Since our publishing days, I think some clarity has developed on how our Christian ministry and our human relationships are linked. Tangled up in that is how we deal with Scriptural truth. I think that theme permeated many of my essays last year, starting from The Christian Clone. And in many ways I still agree with my sentiment then, but I think now I understand more clearly that conflict in relationship is a necessary (or at least unavoidable) part of being Christian. But in conflict, we remain loving and generous and kingdom people.

What do our blog-readers think of the need or purpose of conflict within relationship as Christians?

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