Hi, welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the daily challenges, and it’s a new week, Monday, so we’ll introduce our topic for this week. These daily challenges are meant to help us explore what it means to follow Jesus, even in the midst of a busy, commuting lifestyle. It can make it hard to be part of a traditional church community, say that meets on Sunday mornings.
Now if you’ve never explored what it means to follow Jesus in the first place, I’d encourage you to check out our Christianity 101 Course first. It would be a great introduction to the kind of things that we build on in these challenges.
Every week in these daily challenges, we follow a rhythm. It starts Monday with a new idea, Tuesday we study it in the bible. Every Wednesday we see how that changes and transforms just how we think about things, and Thursday we try to live and act different. Friday’s a day for prayer and reflection. Before Saturday, we take a day of rest. Sunday is a day for community.
Right now we’re doing a series called Pioneer Story, where we’re reading through the Book of Acts, the book in the bible that tells the story of the very first Christians, the first followers of Jesus, how they organized themselves as a community for the very first time. We now call that community, the church. Church isn’t about a building, or about an institution, it’s really about the movement that started 2,000 years ago of people trying to follow Jesus even after he had died, risen again and descended from the earth.
This week we’re calling Pioneer Priorities. As we look at how the very first followers of Jesus and their leaders, the apostles, managed to prioritize when they had a number of competing, equally good options vying for their time. I don’t know about you but, I have to think about this kind of thing a lot. Priorities. What can we spend our time or money or effort on? We can have a number of good options presented to us, and we have to choose between them often.
Years ago I started my own business, and I was going to University at the very same time. I was one of the first companies in Canada to get into web hosting exclusively, so hosting people’s websites and not providing local internet service as well. We were providing good, dedicated service, but I was stretched very thin. I had one employee, and I was doing the rest of the work. We had 2 servers, just 2 servers hosting about 500 clients. I had 200 customers on one, and 300 customers on the other server. Both servers were actually designed for only 100 customers, and I modified them in a way that worked, but had created a bit of a house of cards.
It was in my first year of University, right in the middle of midterms that one of those servers crashed, the one with 300 customers on it. I suddenly found myself stretched really thin with a lot of things to do. At once I was studying for midterms and writing midterms, as well as trying to get the technical problems we had solved, ordering new equipment, getting it shipped and installed, which I was doing remotely since the servers were in Toronto and I was in Kingston. I was also dealing with upset customers, trying to move as many as I could onto the other server, which was already stretched too thin, and I was just trying to keep the business going.
Communicating with the customers who were on the other server, trying to provide them customer service, making sure billing was still happening. I was trying to hold together all these different things, and each thing I needed to do was important and good. I was stretched so thin that I simply didn’t sleep. I was able to do everything I needed to do by not sleeping, and you can imagine the effect that had on my body, on my ability to study, on my grades and so on. I was stretched way too thin. I had way too many things and I hadn’t prioritized them, I thought I could just do everything.
I don’t know if that’s ever happened to you, where you thought you could do everything. You’ve been juggling all these various priorities as if they’re all equally important when it all comes crashing down one day. That’s something that happened to the leaders of the church 2,000 years ago, the very first followers of Jesus. The apostles, the ones who had known Jesus and were communicating his message to the world. They were trying to do it all in those early days. It often happens in a startup, right? Anything entrepreneurial, the entrepreneurs themselves need to pour everything into the new venture they’ve started, but at some point, they realize they need help. That they can’t do it all themselves, and if they try to do it all themselves, they won’t be doing it well.
That’s what happened to the very first Christians in the story that we’re going to read tomorrow. But first I want you to think a little bit about this question and hopefully discuss it with some friends. Redeem the Commute’s daily challenges are not designed to be done alone. You can start that way, but I want you to really quickly transition to sharing these daily challenges with somebody you know. From school, from work, from the bus, from the train, from the carpool, from the neighborhood, whoever you know who might be willing to watch these videos on the same days that you watch them, and then discuss them whenever you are together. Please share the challenges with them, and this discussion. So here’s your question for today.
Question: Have you ever been stretched too thin? What happened to you, what happened to all the work you were trying to do? What needed to change? Well that’s your question for today. Have a great discussion, and I’ll see you tomorrow.
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]