2 years ago I learnt a very hard lesson.

I’m a busy person. Many said far too busy but I waved their concerns away. They didn’t seem to understand that I’m extremely passionate about building God’s Kingdom. I was prepared to sacrifice my time for God. I was a labourer for God. A soldier of Christ.

Naturally, in the midst of my busyness, tiredness came. When that happened I would take a quick rest and get back into the swing of things.

I was leading worship 3 times a weekend, rushing from one meeting to another, speaking at youth groups and cramming as much ministry as possible into the small space of 168 hours.

But tiredness wasn’t the real problem. I wasn’t just weary or in need of an extra few hours sleep.

Instead, I’d become so consumed in doing things for God, that I’d lost sight of who I was. In fact, I had been so focused on doing God’s work that I wasn’t really being the person He had called me to be.

Basically, I was ‘doing’ rather than ‘being’.

And so I was leading worship rather than being a worshipper.
I was seeking God’s hand rather than His face.
I wanted the blessing more than the Blesser.
Desired the revival instead of the Reviver.
I loved God for what He could do for me rather than simply for who He is.

What I had to realise is that first and foremost I am God’s son, and second of all I’m His soldier. I had to realise that God wanted to consume all of me, and not just the stuff I did. I was putting ministry ahead of spending valuable time with those closest to me – the people God had placed around me to journey alongside in my life.

Yes, there are times when we must forsake our family and friends and follow God’s call upon our lives. But what we shouldn’t lose sight of is that in Jesus’ life, amidst all the healings, miracles and sermons, He was first and foremost a best friend to twelve blokes. He modelled out a life that was perfect so that some others could catch it.

I was failing to be like Jesus because I was more interested in leading worship 3 or 4 times a week rather than sitting at lunch once a week with my mates.

Which leads me to my hard lesson!

You see, one of my best friends was having a tough time. Some tough situations had cropped up in his life that he was having to deal with. And most of the time, he was dealing with it alone. While I was ministering to the crowds, my mate was isolated. I didn’t really have a clue what he was going through.

Then one night I was speaking at a church and this friend came along. He texted me afterwards to say thanks and went on to tell me how God had used the whole night to help him in the midst of his situation.

Right in that moment a light bulb switched on inside of me. How was it that I prioritised sharing at a gathering of people ahead of sharing over a burger with my mate.

We met for lunch the next day and spent hours together.

Laughing. Empathising. Sharing. Slagging. Eating.

Rich. Holy. Friendships.

You see, the richness of friendships leads to some interesting encounters as I seek to journey alongside those whom God has placed around me.

In the chippy after the match.
In my house having some grub with the guys after leading worship.
In Starbucks with friends after a tiring day at work.
Lying on my bed in stillness after another Sunday night.

And I’ve been reminded recently about how that’s what Jesus’ last 3 years on earth looked like as he shared life with 12 ordinary men.

In the boat with friends after feeding 5000 people.
Reclining at the table after another dusty journey.
At the well with the woman on his way into town.
Climbing up the mountain to grab a few hours alone with his dad.

He built relationships, hung out on boats and shared His thoughts. The divine mixed with the mundane. The extraordinary brushed against the ordinary.

And that’s what everyday life is for me as my very ordinary self collides with the divine. And I meet the divine in the strangest places sometimes.

Sometimes the most holy times await us in Starbucks or Subway. They lie in the car journeys and the walks, rather than merely the steeples and worship centres.