CULTURE OF DISCIPLESHIP
I’ll never forget the time I went to the movie theater to watch, “The Chronicles of Riddick” (great movie if you’d ask me) because I met the most enthusiastic and passionate man in the movie industry. He had the type of energy you rarely see in NYC; he radiated passion. You could just tell he believed in what he did and his heart was all in. No lie, It was addicting to talk to him. After a few words and laughs, I learned he had just purchased the movie theater and we had a great conversation about his future plans. He kept talking and walked us over to the ticket booth to hand us our tickets and welcome us in.
We then walked over to get some popcorn at the concession stand and guess who was there to greet us with the biggest smile? Yes, him! I was like, “dude! you’re everywhere” as we all laughed. Unenthused, he said: “Indeed, I’m the owner! I do it all.” These words left an impact on me. The excitement, cheer, and passion that radiated in prior greetings had quickly diminished. That's when I knew he was in over his head and sadly, within 6 months, the theater had run out of business.
I always wonder how much longer he would have lasted if he opened up his heart and allowed others to come alongside to help him achieve his vision. Granted there is more to the story of his loss than I could ever imagine, but ultimately he left himself no room to build towards longevity.
One of the personal struggles I’ve had in nearly many endeavors I undertake is that I can quickly burnout. I have a tendency to pour my time into things I am passionate about and often forget to be steward myself well in the process. I’m often tempted to just “suck it up” and I bypass the necessity of being vulnerable with those around me who were placed in my life as a support system.
In a place like New York City, it can easily feel like you have to do it all on your own and take on a "I gotta make it happen" mindset. Since being at C3 NYC, I’ve learned that God actually designed us to do life with others - those who can see through the "happy faces" we put on and speak truth into us to help us grow and live out the full potential God has for us; to find those who we can be unified with in building the kingdom.
I’ve learned to look after myself and rest, knowing that this is God’s way of sustaining me for the long haul. I’ve learned to lean on those around me, to be honest with them about where I’m struggling, and to be a support for them as they experience wins and losses as well. But most importantly, I’ve learned to embrace grace. We don’t earn God’s blessings by the amount of work we do for Him. He wants us to lead healthy, balanced lives where ministry is a joy and source of deep personal fulfillment, simply because we love Him and know how much He loves us. And I’ve found that this becomes natural when I knit my heart together and build hand-in-hand with those around me.