Hear the wisdom of Proverbs 19:2
"Desire without knowledge is not good,
and whoever makes haste with his feet misses the way."
This was the 'Word of the Lord' as I sat beside a stream on our family holiday.
Both my ministry year, and personal life, had been hectic. Numerous challenges had been faced. Some big decision had been implemented. Days, weeks, and months, all seemed to blur together in hurried reflection. Yet for all that had been done, for all the good accomplished, there still seemed so much left to achieve.
Let me tell you about the importance of regular, planned rest in your ministry. And lest you think this advice is only for the guy up front, I trust you will discern the wisdom for any follower of Jesus as we pilgrim through this life.
Your desire is not enough.
I leapt into Christian ministry as I ambled out of High School more than 20 years ago. I was brimming over with desire to change the world, transform church as we knew it, and do great things for God. I rushed headlong into every opportunity, took the chances I was given and left my stamp on what I could. I had a vision of what I would accomplish. I had a burning desire.
But my desire was not enough.
I rarely stopped to consider. Rest was for the weak of faith, after all, wouldn't God sustain me if I was doing His will? My idols were the ones 'out there doing it'—I had no time for those who sat and talked about ministry, there was a world to be reached and it wasn't going to happen unless we all got busy.
My desire was empty of knowledge—which was a dangerous position to be in—because desire on its own is not enough.
Regular rest. Regular reflection. Systematic sabbaticals are essential. Not only for your health and well-being as you restore the energy spent in battle, but also for insuring that your desire for God is informed by wisdom-directed knowledge.
Without rest, without the purposeful pause, my hasty feet have been prone to walking pointless paths. Unchecked desire, no matter how well intentioned it may be, often leads to hurried action. According to the wisdom of God, hurried action often leads to side-tracks and dead-ends.
I am thankful to God for quiet days, for evening fire-side conversations with my family, for trout fishing with my kids, for afternoon bush-walks, for cross-country caravan trips. I'm thankful for all these things because they slow my feet down, they inform my desires, and they provide a place for me to wait on my God.
Your desire is not enough. Slow down. Pause for a while. Ask God to inform your desire and direct your paths. You may feel that running ahead will get you there quicker, but take it from me—it won't.