Working for the Weekends
By Rebecca Colson, CBM National Intern –
My four months at the CBM headquarters are complete and I’m now already halfway through my first rotation at a CBM camp. For my first rotation I’ve been given the amazing opportunity to serve at New Life Camp in Raleigh, North Carolina. While I live on camp property and serve at monthly camp events, the majority of my time is spent a few minutes down the road serving with Cedar Point Community Outreach. Cedar Point is an apartment complex that primarily houses refugees. Every week I get the privilege to serve alongside dedicated volunteers in preschool and Homework Help classes for students of all ages. My hours are long, the work is mentally and socially taxing, and the five minute commute can climb up to thirty minutes in Raleigh traffic. But I love working with these students. I’m honored to hear the stories of volunteers and share my own story with them. I’m truly blessed to be here.
But I don’t always feel like that.
One Sunday I was visiting a church about half an hour away from New Life. A member of the church asked me about myself and after telling her about the ministry I get to do she was excited. She said something along the lines of: “That’s awesome! I wish I could be doing something exciting like that. It must feel so amazing to get to do that every day!” To which I replied, “Well…”
Recently, there have been times where I’ve looked forward to the weekend more than to doing ministry. An amazing opportunity to love the lost and broken had started to feel like…work. There’ve been days where I would rather just lie in bed than get up and go to Cedar Point.
When I shared this with the young woman, she was surprised and thanked me for my honesty. She told me that she found the job she was in dull and uninteresting and would rather be doing ministry like I was. Her job felt like “just work,” as my ministry had begun to feel like for me. We may think that this kind of feeling only comes with dull office jobs but, as I’ve experienced recently, that’s not the case.
I don’t have that much life experience. I’ve never worked a nine to five office job; I’ve never been a full-time pastor or a camp director. I haven’t experienced the exhaustion, tediousness, and stress that comes with having a full-time job for a long period of time. But, through this month at New Life Camp, I’ve learned that any job or ministry, whether I find it exciting or dull, can become “just work.” And I don’t want to live like that. I know there are times when ministry will be stressful or uninteresting but, even then I don’t want it to become “just work.” And while, like I said, I don’t have that much experience, I’ve come to realize a simple way to fight this attitude is being grateful.
I may not enjoy the driving back and forth. I may get tired and overwhelmed from trying to simultaneously help three middle school girls with their math homework. But I’m thankful. I’m thankful I get to show God’s love to an amazing community. Whatever I may feel about the work I’m doing, I want to live with gratitude. I want to be thankful for every job and ministry God puts in my life, even when they aren’t much fun.
One day I hope to work full-time in a ministry I’m passionate about, with a community I love. But even then, I know there’ll be times when it will feel tedious or stressful. In those times and in the good times, I want to be continuously thanking God for using me in furthering his kingdom.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
For his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul,
And the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Edited by CBM National
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