I am thoroughly enjoying my time off. I have had 14 days of stillness — and it's been glorious — but not without my struggle to work. When I say work, I mean to write and pour into the ministry God has entrusted to me.
I love what I do for the kingdom. I love speaking and writing words of encouragement to you and others. When I sit down to work, it's never stressful, but fulfilling. Because what I do is so fulfilling, it's not unusual for me to become a bit of a workaholic. Well, that, and I think it's in my DNA. If you know my parents you can see why working nonstop may be a struggle. Both my parents are workers and they've shown me being a good worker — a hard worker — is essential. My hubby is the same way. And because of his hard work, I get to be home with my children, homeschooling them, and spending time pouring into my ministry.
I will be the first person to tell you hard work is essential in the kingdom. In his book, The Circle Maker, Mark Batterson says "work like it depends on us and pray like it depends on God." It being the thing God is calling you to do. Maybe He's told you to start a business, write a book, get in shape, start a ministry, serve at church, etc. Whatever He's speaking to you about, work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on Him.
However, in my life, and in our culture, I'm beginning to see a trend. Somewhere along the way to worship God through our work, we begin to worship our work. Hustle more, work harder, then you will have the life you always dreamed of. Friend, God has no doubt called you to work hard, but the way to God's fullness for your life won't happen on hard work and hustle alone, but through worshipping Him, following Him, hearing from Him.
2019 was a struggle for me to balance my worship of Jesus and work. More times than I want to admit, I found myself worshipping the work rather than worshipping God through my work. Friend, hard work and hustle alone won't bring about the blessing of God, but worship will. The worship of hard work and hustle will leave you feeling drained, overwhelmed, and burned out, but worship through your work will leave you feeling fulfilled, joyful, at peace, and blessed beyond measure.
When I began praying for a word from the Lord for 2020, I heard God whisper "more." (Side note, when I ask the Lord for a word, it's a word that I can cling to throughout the year. A word to remind me of where God's leading me or who He's molding me into.) I was pretty excited and thought, "Yes! God's calling me to more," and while that's true in a sense, He was quick to correct me in my thinking. "Cassie, I want you to seek more of me." 2019 was my year of hard work and hustle, it was my season and it is important if we don't worship it. 2020 is my year for more Jesus and more stillness, and through more of Jesus, more blessing is the by-product.
Don't let the culture pressure you into a work harder, hustle more, live the dream, mentality. By all means, work hard, like you are working for the Lord (Colossians 3:23). But above all, chase Jesus, worship Him, seek Him, and more will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).
Downs serves as a young adult/college leader at her church with her husband. She writes faith-based columns in southern Missouri newspapers.