To Love & To Lead: Staff Discussions


Posted on Apr 2, 2020 by Roger Goins, Director of Ministries


Monday was the perfect morning for a mind-clearing, relaxing, reconnecting run in the woods.  It was cool but not cold.  The sun was shining but not so brightly that I needed sunglasses.  After a quick check-in at the office, I headed to Lee Creek Reservoir for a trail run.  As I parked, I realized two things; first, I was alone—the parking lot was empty.  This run was going to be time alone with God and His creation.   The second thing I realized was that I had forgotten my headphones.  Kathy got me a really nice pair of Aftershokz that don’t cover my ears; I can hear my music or the phone and still hear what’s going on around me.  But, they don’t do me any good sitting next to the bed at home!  So, this was going to be a quiet run and my problem with a quiet run is that I think too much; I tend to try to solve all the world’s problems instead of relaxing and listening to God.

I left my phone in the truck and headed up the trail.  Which problem to tackle first?  How do we clean up our livestream?  How do we do ministry in a post-Christian culture? How do we connect people during mandated social-distancing?  Why can’t we livestream Facebook and YouTube at the same time?  Why do I keep tripping over these rocks and roots?  Why do people throw their trash on the ground?  How many people are buried in this old cemetery?  Why did God make squirrels?  And then about a half-mile up the trail, a hymn popped into my head.  I am a fifty-five year old preacher’s kid so it is not at all unusual for me to think in hymns.  I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee my blessed Saviour, I surrender all.  All to Jesus I surrender, All to Him I freely give, I will ever love and trust Him, In His presence daily live.  I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee my blessed Saviour, I surrender all.  Okay Lord, thank You for quieting my mind.  Now let’s sing some running music like “This is how I fight My Battles.”  Hmmm, why can’t I remember the words?  I surrender all, I surrender all, All to Thee my blessed Saviour, I surrender all.  For the next three miles, that song was on a loop in my head.

Why?  I have—at least intellectually—surrendered everything to Jesus.  I even work at church!  And “surrender” is not a word I really like.  I was raised to believe I could do anything if I just kept working at it.  “Can’t”, “quit” and “give up” were cuss words in our house.  I broke my finger in a little league baseball game and was not allowed to sit out a single pitch—my finger is still crooked todayJ.  Never give up and never quit!  My formative young adult years were spent as a soldier—an infantry soldier required to do the things that other soldiers could not or would not do.  Surrender was not an option! 

What is God trying to tell me?  Maybe I can’t “fight my battles” because they are not MY battles.  They are His battles.  I surrender all has to include the battles.  I do have to fight battles and quitting is not an option.  But they are not MY battles.  I can sing “I surrender all” but if I haven’t surrendered my battles, I haven’t surrendered all. Even if I am using praise and worship to fight those battles, as long as they are MY battles, I will not have peace.  Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” John 14:27.  Maybe if I weren’t so hard-headed, I wouldn’t have had to run 4 miles to figure out what He was trying to tell me.  Maybe you can benefit from my physical pain.   He loves Heritage more than I do.  He loves Kathy more than I do.  He loves my kids and grandkids more than I do.  He even loves me more than I do.  I don’t know what battle you are fighting.  Surrender your battles to Jesus; don’t be fearful and don’t give up.  Keep fighting! Fight with the peace that passes all understanding.  Surrender all and fight knowing that Jesus loves you!  He has the battle and He is fighting for you!  Fight knowing that the battle is already won! I SURRENDER ALL!  DO YOU?

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