Thursday, November 1, 2012


There is such wisdom for us parents in this post from Greg Haswell, pastor of Northlands Church. Now, we are in no means calling you a goose dear parent, but we think you will appreciate the analogy! 

At What Point Can I Stop?

One of the most difficult aspects of ministry is to know when you have done enough for others and to know when it is legitimate to take some time for yourself. When surrounded by obvious need, while still having something to share, we tend to feel guilty if we don’t give what we have. For most people who start out in ministry, it takes getting to the point of sheer exhaustion or zero resources, to be able to say no without guilt. 

As we mature, we learn to say no a little easier, and we tend to draw boundaries a little further from the edge of personal destruction. We learn to manage other peoples' expectations and our own inner drivers that push us ever onward towards depletion. Saying no while we still have something left is not selfish, but rather an act in the best interest of the people we serve. They are not best served if we function at the point of emotional and spiritual depletion. 

The Geese that Lay the Golden Eggs

Recently at the Hope At Home conference, part of my message was adapted from the fable attributed to Aesop. He told the story about the goose that laid the golden egg. Simply stated he said a man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich. "Just think," said the man's wife, "If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster." 
"You're right," said her husband, "We wouldn't have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day." 
So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs.

The moral Aesop intended spoke to the dangers of greed and impatience, but let's consider an additional moral. To the people who depend on you for supply, your children primarily, you are the goose that lays the golden egg. You supply peace, hope, courage, love, security, a health-inducing and safe environment, often on a daily basis. For this to work you need to maintain a certain amount of personal health and replenishment. Everyone can sprint in short bursts, but to sustain peak performance for the long haul, rest and rejuvenation are imperative. 

If You Want to Produce, Take Care of the Goose

So this is a plea to the geese that lay the golden eggs. Take care of yourselves,  because what you deliver is life to those who depend on you. Build into your schedule time to replenish yourself emotionally and spiritually. Make it of first importance to recharge yourself because it is not in the nature of the needy to consider your needs. Their own needs are their focus and they will assume that you exist to meet them. So take care of yourself because if you let them "kill" you, they will be hurt in the exchange. Take guilt-free time for yourself, and settle it in your mind, that a happy, replenished and energized you is the best gift you have to give your children and others who look to you for supply. 

Children, as with every other ministry, make constant demands on your emotional, spiritual, mental and physical resources. Serve  them by taking care of the goose that produces.

Want to hear more from Greg? Check out "The God Who Moves on Your Behalf" and "Happy Baking" and "Be Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind," all by Greg Haswell. 

No comments:

Post a Comment