Monday, August 15, 2005

Availability

Last week I was wandering past one of the blocks of class rooms at school when i noticed a particularly rowdy bunch of Year 8s running around in their classroom. I avoided the temptation to go in there and run amuck with them, and decided to do the responsible thing and ask where their teacher was. I ran off to the office to get them to sort something out, then went back to hang out with the kids.

As I'm currently running a few classes on sex and sexuality, what it means to be a guy, they told me they wanted me to answer some of the questions from the question box I had left in the class. After getting through the usual bunch of immature questions, we ended up having some really good discussion, with they boys being a little less haha-look-how-funny-I-am-cos-I-said-the-word-breast, due to the girls being there.

But it did make me reflect on the nature of ministry, and particularly living missionally-both in my job at school and living in my local area. If my day at the school had been completely booked out doing stuff, then i would have missed this golden oppurtunity. In the same way, if we live our lives so busy full of work, sport, family, or church commitments, we so often can miss oppurtunities to engage meaningfully in the lives of those around us. Although those things are all very important in their own right, they can consume our lives.

So many people are just stupidly busy, that somebody actually being available is a precious gift.

For me this means no working nights or weekends, my back pocket suffers as a result, but thats the way it goes sometimes...

12 comments:

jarrod said...

yeah, see where ur coming from digs, but as a weekend worker i also recognise the missional opportunities in being in my work space. Time spent with people at work is often as effective (if the efficacy of time is measurable??) as time spent in social spaces. i have had many quality interactions with collegues i would not have had if i hadnt worked. Also had many interactions with people (customers) i know that i would likely have never had in a social context. whilst i recognise the importance of not letting your work dominate your life, (eg. missing out on going to a mates birthday party purely for more money), i dont think it can be written off as "time which could be better spent" by being available for accidental ministry. perhaps intentionality is the the point of difference between just working, and finding God in our workplaces. perhaps if when we are spending time with the family, playing sport working etc we need to be intentional about being Christ in those contexts. though i think you are right about not allowing them to be consumming.

hamo said...

great stuff mate

i reckon one of my key roles is to be available

mase said...

hey digs. this is the major issue with me thinkin bout what i'm gonna be doin when i finish school. if i had my way, i'd spend my days just wandering the streets of frankston, getting to know the people who are there all the time, learning the 'rhythm of the city', praying for opportunities to minister (whatever that looks like)to those who most need it, and no doubt & hopefully seeing those opportunities arise! (probably in a different way each time) Well, that's my plan at the moment anyway! it is a hard balance/tension to find tho, between structure and flexibity and the place God has for both of them in our lives.

em said...

YIPPIE... the hotdiggityblog virgin finally gets in on the action! and i must say, i'm quite impressed... well thats uneducated praise as i've only read the latest entry BUT... i do like what i see!

crazy times ahead when work dominates... and lack of face-to-face communication is only gunna get worse with the all this technology mumbo jumbo...

no time like the present to embrace the opportunities for more community interactions for DEAR LIFE!! nah it's not that bad... but i think (and maybe this has been going on for quite some time...) but this period of time is gunna be one of huge reality checks for people... as the business of life continues to increase eventually an outburst of panic will occur...

so maybe i took it a little further than the micro day to day availability, but on the macro side of things i reckon, as you said, big problems are gunna start shovin their ugly heads in our faces!

how does the community deal with the next stage will be one of great interest!

love your work dig dig

Digger said...

Brilliant Jarrod. quality thoughts there mate. I reckon you've hit the nail on the head-and that's intentionality. You should write a blog :)

Digger said...

Yeah its a hard balance hey Mase-the whole structure and flexibility thing.

In terms of the plan for when you finish school-I think there's only one chant applicable, and I think you know what it is... Something to do with do it?

¿johnman¿ said...

yeah thats good as digger. I think in life it is not so bad to have time committed where we are out every week somewhere, but we should make it a priority to be doing something that is aimed at building others, in what ever way that may be.

Bobbing Cactus said...

Good call, it's so hard sometimes to keep an ear and heart for a person/s in need when we're so caught up in what's next or what's happening now in our lives (not talking about being selfish and self absorbed but rather more looking forward or concentrating on what we are doing then keeping ourselves open).
I agree with you jarrod. Personally i believe that God has a plan for everyone, that's intertwined with everyone else's, For example: the people you meet out of no where, you may affect their lives just being you and not even know it, no matter where you are.
I have to say it's usually the places you don't expect to affect anyone you actually do. The most unexpected for me would have to be on a melb tram which just by talking to this bloke made a now very trusted christian friend (though i don't advize talking to tottal strangers to everyone).

Digger said...

Hey Em-good to see ya on here mate! I'm totally following ya-its definitely gonna be an ongoing problem in the future.
who are you bobbing cactus?

Bobbing cactus said...

Hey digs, you know me but don't... but for both our sakes we'll leave it at Bobbing cactus... or just Bob

mase again! said...

digs, you've lost me mate. what chant might that be?

Digger said...

Do it do it do it...