Have you ever been sabotaged during a project? You try to do something effective, or productive and all of a sudden it goes haywire because someone threw a wrench in the cogs of the machine! This tends to happen all of the time for me, and maybe you too. A few months ago at the Church Educators Conference, the keynote speaker Tod Bolsinger said,
“Sabotage is not the bad things that evil people do, but the human things anxious people do.”
I know what sabotage feels like. It hurts. But the question is, who has been the saboteur? Who else has seen sabotage in ministry?
Admittedly, I seem to be the saboteur in most of my instances. But we can also see how it happens to other people too.
You’d think that with all of the amazing things Moses did in his time as the leader of the people of Israel, it was a great gig… That’s far from true.
There was constant complaining, whining, second-guessing and fussing about what direction Moses was leading, or asking why even leave captivity…
In Exodus 14:11, as the people are crossing the Red Sea ON DRY GROUND, “They said to Moses, ‘Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not what we said to you in Egypt, leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians. For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness…’” Even while escaping the hardships of slavery and being LED BY GOD but soon after in Exodus 14:31, “Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in His servant Moses.”
Then after a little bit of time together in the wilderness, they started whining again about being hungry and needing bread and how slavery was “better than this” because at least they had meat. And yet again, God took care of them.
It is interesting on how often we try to sabotage God’s work by our own sinful wants, or how most of it takes place over a meal. We tend to fuss about “How good we had it when…” over a meal, but don’t look to how God is in control. We act within our own anxious nature, not being able to control everything and sabotage different stuff. I know it happens to me. I overthink things, delaying communication, delaying responses that lead to poorly attended things. I lose my cool too easily while distracted, and it creates troubled relationships. Self-sabotage is a trait I possess.
But speaking about meals, there is one meal every week that helps me look to the real purpose of ministry. I get to eat it twice on Sundays.
I am welcomed to the Table, given bread and wine, flesh and blood, forgiveness of sins. I am brought back into relationship with God who leads us, and through that renewed relationship, I’m reminded of the good relationships I can reconcile with others. I can leave my self-sabotage at the table and walk back as a new person acknowledging my need to share that same forgiveness to those who have hurt me, and seek that reconciliation from those whom I’ve hurt. Which meal do you want to have, the one that causes division, or the one that brings reconciliation?
Josh Cromley, Director of NexGen Ministries