Many of you know I’m an avid runner. And though it hasn’t happened often, there have been a few times when I’ve “eaten asphalt (or dirt).” The most recent episode was several months ago on one of our lovely watershed trails here in Greensboro. One moment, I was running through the woods talking with my friend. The next minute, my phone was flying out of my hand, my sunglasses were flying off my face, and I was flying through the air, headed straight for the ground.

In that split second between when my toe caught the camouflaged tree root and my body hit the ground, there was a moment frozen in time… when I knew I’d lost control and there was nothing I could do to regain it. In many ways, this is how I can describe my professional life. While it’s something I try to avoid in the context of running, I’ve learned that leaning into that out-of-control feeling is often the best choice.

Let me explain. As I write this, I find myself (once again) stretched far beyond the limits of my abilities, skills, and comfort zone. A quick glance at my desk and to-do list reveals that I’m wearing more hats than usual right now. There’s the Fundraiser hat. (Autobell Gift Card and End-of-Year Giving season). There’s CFO. (It’s time to create the 2023 budget). I’ve been wearing a new hat since this summer – that of Clinical Supervisor for our Staff Counselors (which has been a great blessing). And, then, let’s not forget website designer and IT (new site just launched!), advertising and copy writer, manager and Christmas Party planner!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my job at RPC. This is what God called me to. But what it teaches me time and again is that there is no amount of controlling, striving, or organizing that I can do to accomplish the tasks at hand. Simply put, I am not in control. However, God is consistently faithful in reminding me that He is.  

At some point, God will call each one of us to what is beyond the natural realm of our abilities, skills, and comfort zone, and when He does, we can mistakenly believe that it should be easy. But really, what makes us think that what God has called us to will not cost us something? Like hard work? Or sweat? Even tears! And you know what? That’s okay! Because the beauty of it is that once all is said and done, we can only exclaim, “God did that. I did not!” When I can remember this truth daily and work in His strength – not my own – I’m able to find rest and avoid burnout – even if it all feels like it’s out of control.

Are you finding yourself stretched beyond your natural abilities, skills and comfort? As we enter into “the most wonderful time of year” (often translated “the busiest time of year”), do you need to remember that it is only through God’s energy, which so powerfully works in you, that you’ll be able to accomplish the tasks at hand?

Being out of control during a jog through the woods is quite a dangerous state, but… out of control in life, i.e., surrendering our control to God? Well, that’s the safest place we can be. As you read about all that’s been going on at RPC in this newsletter, please remember, GOD did that.