The Night I Became a Donkey

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SG-Donkey-head--being-worn-2To give you a little context, the past few weeks every small group in our church has been going through Kevin DeYoung’s Crazy Busy. It’s exciting to think that 500+ people are meeting and discussing with each other the complexity and often sheer madness of our multi-layered modern lives. It’s one major way that discipleship is getting into the DNA of the church here. But it gets way more personal for me…

Last week Kay asked me how the book impacted me. Have you ever had a moment (it felt like slow motion) where you had a good thought but then something else came out of your mouth? In my case out of my mouth came something to the effect that I was learning how to slow down. That is true, but it sounded so cheesy, so lame, so, uhh… veneer-like. You know, those are the cliche kinds of answers that sound really good but it’s just a cheap cover to keep people satisfied. I  didn’t need a mirror but I could slowly sense that my head was turning into a donkey’s head…

Actually, I really am taking “getting unplugged” seriously by intentionally taking periods of sabbath rest. I just don’t need to be tethered to everyone and everything electronic 24/7. My talk about dependence on God doesn’t mean much when there seems to be a big pocket of unbelief in my heart that gets lived out as I try to stay ahead of the curve. So it wasn’t that I lied. My bigger problem is that I just glossed over some deeper things and offered something safe in its place.

What I wanted to say to her is that I’m learning to listen. The busyness of my life tends to crowd out my ability to listen well. It’s hard to be present in the moment for her or others when I’m thinking of all the things I need to get done at work and around the house. It’s not something I can fix in my own power but it’s something in me that God wants to change. As I processed this with the Lord I came to the understanding (I know this is shocking…)  I’m full of me. As much as I joke with people that, “I love me some me” the truth is, I really do.

Busyness in life has the detrimental effect of taking those we love for granted. I think this is true both with the people we love and with God. My rushed life does not allow me the space to cultivate a heart that has the capacity to stop and truly listen to them. They feel like minor actors in the play because I’m the main character! The inability to listen can get me into serious trouble with Kay, or my boys, or with good friends. Likewise, if I don’t foster a growing capacity to listen to God, He then becomes a supporting actor in a play that’s about me! And that is incredibly problematic…

In the end, I came clean with her and told her the real good stuff that God was doing. My head has returned to normal now even though I still find myself braying a bit here and there…

5 thoughts on “The Night I Became a Donkey

  1. Lori Coslet

    Your comment, “… if I don’t foster a growing capacity to listen to God, He then becomes a supporting actor in a play that’s about me!”, is very convicting for me.

  2. Elizabeth Brown

    When you teach, you are called to a higher power. As a Pastor, you lead by example. Therefore, your influence is wide and immeasurable. But then the other tasks intrude. It must be a challenge to find balance. Forgive yourself for shortcomings. : ) Do the good. Many are enlightened by your words and actions.

  3. First–I love the picture.
    But second–thank you for sharing. I too am sometimes amazed at the quick responses I give to people to get them off my back. Not that the answers aren’t true, but they aren’t complete. I don’t think we have the capacity to always give complete answers (or to even know ourselves well enough to do that on a consistent basis, thought I feel my awareness is rising), but I do think there are times when we are invited into sharing a fuller picture.

    I can also resonate with God becoming a “supporting actor” to my story, as I become more and more aware of how self-focused I am. It’s a hard routine to break free from.

  4. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting
    my own blog annd was wondering what all is required to get
    setup? I’m assuming havjng a blog like yours would
    cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not
    100% positive. Any suggestions orr advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers

    • jonnitta

      Not much is required. I’m fairly new at it so this was started more as an experiment to see if I could sustain writing. The cost can vary from none to very little. If you find the right web address then you might have to pay a bit each year to keep it. Hope it goes well for you and thanks for reading the blog!

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