In 2019, my mentor shared a personal, childhood story about a trip to the amusement park with her father. It was a moving story of how they had gotten stuck on a ferris wheel, and ended up having to climb down....how it ruined her view of the fun they were supposed to have that day...and how they ultimately had to "start over" and begin their day again.
Last night, when I was considering what I would share in my blog today, this story popped into my mind. I'm not going to share HER story, but something that I believe can minister to everyone in any kind of ministry...
>>> Get Off the Devil's Ferris Wheel! <<<
This is a simple concept, to be honest...nothing you haven't heard before. But possibly, hearing it in a different way can be of help to you.
Let's begin with a few qualifying questions...
Do you hit the ground running on most days, with only a few minutes to spare in God's Word and prayer?
If you DO have time to spend in God's Word and prayer, do you finish up with a satisfied "sigh" that you accomplished it today?
Are you involved in multiple ministries?
Is it very seldom that you attend a service without having some kind of responsibility?
Do you have a hard time saying "No", when a ministry has a need?
Are your days so full that your Sunday School / (any ministry) study time has to wait til the last minute?
Does your mind feel foggy and overloaded?
Are you mentally and emotionally exhausted?
Are you even physically overdone?
Do you have a hard time keeping up with regular household and family responsibility?
If you answered "YES" to even one of these, this blog post may help you. :D
First a disclaimer: In no way, do I think I have this all figured out! In fact, I am preaching to myself as I write today. LOL I can answer "YES" to most of the 10 questions above. But because I can answer "YES" to them, I believe the Lord sent this reminder to me, so that I can work to make the changes I need to make.
So, let's chat...
Life sometimes seems to be a hamster wheel, doesn't it? And yep, I said "hamster" wheel, not "ferris" wheel for a reason. Hamster wheel is the term we've always heard that signifies running and running and running aimlessly! It never seems to stop. There's not much point to what goes on with a hamster wheel, except to maybe give the little guy some exercise! :-P
If we aren't careful, life can end up being that way. We run and run with no aim or goal in mind.
On the other hand, we can also get caught up in a "Ferris Wheel" life. Let me explain...
Along with our busy lives, the Lord has called us into a ministry. This ministry has beautiful views, friends, laughter, enjoyable times....we have goals and visions of what we are going to do, and how it is going to work out.
But if we are stuck on that wheel, going round and round and round, we can get sick of it, even scared, frustrated...and not enjoy it at all! We can lose our focus - our goals and vision.
Having laid out that picture for you, let's look at what I mean by "The Devil's Ferris Wheel".
Let me first say that by no means do I mean to stop your ministry! If God has called you to the ministry you are working in, and if He is using you in that ministry, don't quit just because life is busy and just keeps spinning! Life is ALWAYS going to be busy!
But if you are on this "Ferris Wheel" of life that also includes ministry, sometimes we need to take a step back and reevaluate.
So, what does this mean?
We have spouses, and children, jobs, and school, sports, and music, college, and seminars, church, and prayer group, Bible study, and youth service....and of course house cleaning and meal prep...the list never ends!
If we just spend our days checking things off our list and going from one thing to another, even our ministry gets into this "ferris wheel" operation mentality. Nothing ever changes, nothing ever stops, everything just goes on and on.
Yes, there are beautiful views from up here!
Yes, there are friends and family I can enjoy it with!
Yes, we have great times of sharing and laughter!
Do we stop long enough to hear from God? Do we stop long enough to let His voice instruct us in what to teach and what to share with our children and classes? Do we forget our own family's needs because there are so many needs in the families we minister to?
Even though this Ferris Wheel is from God and wonderful, it can become a tactic of the enemy to keep us from our focus and keep us from accomplishing anything great for God's Kingdom....it becomes The Devil's Ferris Wheel!
The devil can keep us so busy with "GOOD" things, that our good things destroy the "BEST" things...our relationship with Jesus!
In all this craziness we call life, our priorities have got to be figured correctly!
Our relationship with Jesus - we have GOT to make it to Heaven!
Our personal family's needs - we have to make sure THEY make it to Heaven! NOTE: I also believe that this step includes taking care of our family's household needs. If they feel unloved, or not taken care of, it could come between you and ultimately cause them to become bitter against God. Just my personal feelings.
Our Ministry's needs - this is our calling...but it is our calling only AFTER we take care of our own spiritual needs.
REMEMBER: We minister out of our overflow! (Check my blog post on this topic)
So, to get off The Devil's Ferris Wheel doesn't mean to stop working, stop your ministry, always say "No", etc. etc. But it DOES mean to stop the spin, take a step back, and reevaluate all your responsibilities.
Are there things of which you can let go? Do you have staff to train to do the little things that take up a lot of your time? How do you spend your free time? Can you incorporate ministry prep into family time?
Think of ways that you can focus on your goals and vision once again, and figure out how to stay OFF the continual spin of crazy life!
This will be different for everyone because your life and ministry is different than everyone else's.
Don't let your amazing, God-planned life and ministry turn into The Devil's Ferris Wheel!
>>> Step back and evaluate where you are, then begin again. <<<
I hope this little picture has helped you today.
In His Service,
Sara Vojtasek and Joel's Vision Ministries