This morning I had a sudden jolt when I realised that we only had a month to get together 15 runners for the Great Manchester Run. With preparations for moving abroad and recruiting people for Dignity, it has simply slipped out of my sight. With me it is definitely out of sight, out of mind, so nothing had been done! I sent out a panic email about 30 minutes ago and 2 people have signed up already, bringing our total to 4 out of 15. We are finally making some progress…. BTW if you do want to run the race, email Simon Forman on firstname.lastname@example.org and tell him soon. He’d love to hear from you…
Sometimes being a pioneer you get used to working on your own. That is a good and a bad thing. The good side is that you become very resilient and you develop a dogged spirit that keeps you going. You can literally feel awful and still keep going. Endurance I believe it is called. You develop efficient ways of doing things, simply because you must. Your faith develops because you see the Lord coming through for you many times.
The downside is that if you are not careful, you can become very tired, very exhausted. You become jaded by enduring. You can become cynical about others, favouring your own labour over that of other people. You believe it is quicker to do it yourself. On the odd occasion that may be, in the long term though it simply is not true.
This position of having many demands is not new to humanity. Stress, pressure and people have played a part in the human psyche since the beginning of time. I remember when I began Dignity very vividly. I had been in Africa all summer and on my return I was leaving my position at Ivy Manchester and starting afresh this new ministry. To say nothing existed is completely true.
I remember sitting down at my desk for perhaps 2 days, simply mulling over, well what do I do now?
At that time I felt led, I believe by God to read a passage about Moses. Have a look In Numbers 11:10-16
10 Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent. The LORD became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled. 11 He asked the LORD, “Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? 12 Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers? 13 Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, ‘Give us meat to eat!’ 14 I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin.”
16 The LORD said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. 17 I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.
Timely words in deed from the Lord. Basically, many hands make light work. However, it is more than that, there was something of integrity and purpose in this situation I believe. Moses was carrying the Lord’s anointing, his empowering if you like to get the job done. As people we are susceptible to many vices, power being one of them. The belief that we are critically important or that we alone can do everything can be a very dangerous one. I wander if the Lord left the pressure of the people with Moses until he recognised this for himself? Simply, that he could not do it all. It is the Lord’s task and you will notice form the passage that the same anointing spread to the other people, so God would effect his will through the many led by Moses.
It is difficult sometimes being a pioneer and at many times I will confess to have felt very alone in the task God has given me. Something of the personality of the visionary makes us prone to that I think. Maybe the Lord sometimes leaves us in this place to recognise that it is his task not ours, His accomplishment not our accomplishment. I’m very thankful for the people that do help me in the work and I can see that the Lord has provided them.
So Many Hands do make light Work but maybe just maybe sometimes the Lord leaves us in the cold for a little to show us the true value of those around us.
Think about it.