Everything to Someone

Two years ago Ann and I were at a crossroads of sorts. Her dad had just died.. she attended the funeral in a wheelchair.. life was becoming increasingly difficult as the realization of her disability was setting in.. then on Saturday January 26 I read this GK Chesterton quote:
"Why be something to everybody when you can be everything to somebody?"
The quote seemed to go through me.. it rocked me.. it gave me so much clarity.. it was as if God was beginning a dialog with me about priorities. My life changed that day as I began focusing on how I could be everything to my wife. That summer I retired from pastoral ministry and began ministering full time at home. I think that it is so easy to try to please everyone.. Bill Cosby once said this:
I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
My life has changed a lot in the last two years.. in a sense it has been simplified a bit.. my thinking seems to be a bit more independent.. I do not feel that I have to please everyone.. I can be myself a bit more.. maybe even a little authentic. I think that sometimes we have to change our focus to change our life.. not that it is easy. :)


8 comments:

  1. I like your choice of words...you began ministering at home. that's authentic. Changing our focus can be difficult but it can build a stronger character in each of us.
    Thanks for sharing this thought today.
    Sue

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  2. My dear Bob ~~ Don and I read you post, and so deeply feel the hugeness of that decision. How interesting how God speaks big decisions in a small but powerful verse.
    Being in pastoral ministries all our adult lives we feel the significance of your beautiful focus.
    Blessing on you and Ann... how special a couple you are!

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  3. God has been gradually changing my focus too. I have felt it deeply at certain moments, such as my father's cancer diagnosis in early September and his passing four weeks later, to the day to day struggles of just living my life for Him. I am blessed to watch Him purify my heart and life, to work in the lives of my husband and children, to know He loves us and to love Him more each day. If we can not minister best at home, how can we ever expect to make a difference in the world?

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  4. That was a good call KB.

    Maybe not quite the same but about 20 years ago a pastor said to me that I needed to learn when to say 'No'. I have always been the 'doer' in any sort of group and this pastor recognised that I was over committing myself. I started saying 'No' but then, when I moved to another fellowship, I fell into the 'Yes' trap again and this caused me a lot of stress. But now I am in a fellowship that has no building of its own; we are not an official church in the sense of registering as a charity and we do not have board members etc. We are blessed by the grace of God and it feels so good to be free of the world's control.

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  5. this is why i love reading your blog. the fact that you are willing to be everything to your wife... it's just so wonderful sweet. and christ-like.

    you are a blessing to me from afar. :)

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  6. Thanks all for the sweet comments. You all and your blogs bless me very much.

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  7. You know, I've been trying to put my finger on it, but now I realize why you haven't been anything to me lately ;) Seriously though, I remember when you spoke to the church about your situation. I admired it and hoped to be able to make similar choices if needed.

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