October 28, 2020

Pastoral Nuggets: Buffet of Menu?

Brother-Aaron-236x300Just because we “can” do something, doesn’t mean we “should” do something.

For example, if we go to a restaurant that offers a buffet, we can eat everything on the buffet.  However, common sense tells us we shouldn’t!  (Done gone to meddling now, haven’t I?)

There are a lot of similarities between a restaurant that offers a buffet and our lives. People expect both to offer something for everybody.

And rest assured, if you ever serve something once on the buffet of your life, then somebody will like it and expect it to be there from that point forward! But this is really an unrealistic model for both life and ministry!

In ministry, as well as life, successful leaders quickly realize that programs and things reach a point of diminishing returns. In other words, if we succeed in keeping the buffet fully stocked with every item, will the dividends really be worth it?

If you are one of those people who tried to please everybody in 2015, (and before) whether it is in your personal life or professional, I have a question: How’s that working for you? Has your life investment paid the dividends you were expecting? I love what Bill Cosby said about this. He said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

The first of the year usually provides us a little extra time to think about and ponder what we want to see accomplished in our life.

Today I want to encourage you, whether it is your personal life, career, or ministry, to remove the buffet and prayerfully replace it with a well thought out, purposeful menu.

Tailor the menu to first reflect the things that “must” be done. Then include those things that “should” be done. And finally, leave a little space on the menu for things you just “enjoy” doing.

But whatever you decide will be on the menu of your life; serve it with excellence or not at all!  Remember, quality always attracts but mediocrity breeds indifference. A portion of the lyrics of the song “Jubilee,” by Mary Chapin Carpenter says, “I can tell by the way you were listening you’re still expecting to hear.”

Let us hear and receive that lyric into our lives for 2016.  Regardless of whom you are, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief, Doctor, Lawyer, or Indian Chief, as the rhyme goes, there are people in your life path who are expecting to receive what God has gifted you to provide.

And as the old saying goes, “It’s better to do a few things well than many things poorly.” (Mediocre)  So, as you enter into 2016 discard the buffet, prayerfully and carefully craft the menu of your life with those few things at which you excel, and go forth and prosper for Jesus!

Remember, just because you “can” do something, doesn’t mean you “should” do something.  Learning to say, “no” is an honorable goal for the coming year!  Buffet or menu?  I vote menu!

Brother Aaron

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