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Posted on September 12th, 2008

When I was in high school and elementary school, I did what most of my friends did —  I skimmed for tests. Learning the material was not important. What was important was to get a good grade, to survive, to get through it. Most Christian leaders/pastors skim today. We skim on ourselves, our self-care. We have so much to do, so many demands that we figure we can catch up on our sleep some other time. The space we need for Sabbath-keeping, replenishing our soil, reading, relaxing, etc. can happen later, some some other time. We lie to ourselves that all is okay. We skim on our relationship with God. There are sermons to prepare, calls to return, people to visit, e mails to read. So our devotional lives are weak and we carry a general cloud of guilt. We skim on our marriages and children. Our families rarely demand us out of a crisis so we give them the minimum to keep it going. Our investment is not full, thoughtful, planned. We get through it okay. We skim on our preaching. A good friend shared with me recently how many pastors download transcripts of other people’s sermons on Friday and Saturday of each week. Why? Who has time to get a fresh revelation from Him? For the silence and meditation and study needed to bring a genuine word from God each week. We skim on our leadership. It takes a lot of time to lead a community, a ministry, a good meeting. But we have too much to do in too little time. So we go in with little thought and preparation into a meeting we are leading, leaning inappropriately on our gifts and position. We get by but we skimmed. We cheated. We skim on fun/recreation. Christians can be among the most pleasure deficient people I know. Again, who has time? Our work for God crowds out our enjoyment of His gifts to and for us. Where else might we be skimming?

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