By Dr. Taylor Williams
My front porch. It’s nothing particularly special. It will never win any decor awards. If truth be told it has enough foundational cracks that I am sure we will have to replace it if we ever move. You might look at it and see an old porch full of problems but let me share with you what I see.
I see a place of restoration, a place of perspective finding, a place of solitude, and at times a place of refuge (especially when my three kids are not out playing). I see a place of rescue, an oasis, a place to focus before a challenging day and to refocus after a difficult day. I see a place to meet with Jesus, and to listen for him and to hear from him.
The call to Christian leadership is filled with many ups and downs. Oswald Chambers reminds us, “We were never called to be free from problems but we were promised to never be alone in the problems”. In a loud, busy, angry, frustrating, and often confusing world, it is vital to have a “porch”. That place to go to be reminded that you are not alone!
There is a principle called, “crowded loneliness” which argues that we can be surrounded by Facebook friends, Twitter followers, co-workers, and even family, but inside we can still feel all alone. This loneliness can emerge because no one knows who we really are. Our moments on the porch allow us to come into communion with our maker, our sustainer, and our redeemer; Jesus. The one who knows who we really are.
Jesus had a “porch”. Mark refers to it as a desolate place. Jesus often got up and got away. He spent time early in the morning to refocus on His calling, spend time with his Father, and prepare for the battles that lay ahead in the day. It poses the question, if Jesus needed a time and place to escape to be with his Father who are we to think we can survive in ministry without doing the same?
Let me share some application questions:
- Do you have a “porch”? Where is your “place” to meet/listen with Jesus?
- How could time in this place prepare you to face the problems of the day?
- What impact could meeting with Jesus, listening for him, and hearing from him have on your life and leadership?
Go ahead-find your “porch”. Remember, it does not have to be amazing or spectacular. What makes it special is the one who shows up to meet you there!
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.