A Bit Overwhelmed

A Bit Overwhelmed

So our University chaplain, Shawna Songer Gaines, lost her grandfather this week and asked me to fill in for her in chapel. We are walking through the Exodus story in chapel this semester. The assigned text was the story of Moses before the burning bush. Since I had preached this text a few years ago, I dusted off the sermon for current use. I didn’t expect what happened to me as I preached.

I was a bit overwhelmed.

Rather than standing as the powerful preaching narrator of Moses’ experience, I found myself feeling quite powerless before the need that I face every day. Moses had the almighty Pharaoh standing between him and the freedom of the Israelites. I have the almighty dollar standing between me and the funding of Christian education for the next generation of credentialed servants in the world.

Those of us who are living our days on the Trevecca campus see and sense the holy ground experiences that are transforming our students. It is palpable; holy work is going on. And we have been blessed beyond our means to be growing rapidly (more than 1,300 in the past three years alone). Our growth has outpaced our capacity to provide financial aid.

So I’ve been taking a page out of Moses’ excuse playbook and explaining to God why we can’t do this. I’m not a great fundraiser. What if the alumni don’t give back? What if I can’t adequately impart Trevecca’ vision and inspire donors? 

Yes, like Moses, I whine a lot to God. And God keeps entrusting growing numbers of students to us for holy ground experiences. This work of funding Christian higher education is… well, it’s way past what I can do.

I’m not alone.

You are working on hurricane recovery, the opioid crisis, a declining church, messy politics, loving tough neighbors, saving a company to keep good people working, providing medical care in a greedy system and a million other impossible tasks. So to all my friends who are standing before a bush that won’t burn and a heavenly voice that can’t be ignored and a challenge bigger than you are… grace and peace from a brother who is standing barefoot along with you.

Blessings,
Dan

If you’d like to hear the sermon, the podcast is available here. The Scripture and sermon begin around the 45-minute mark.

 

Comments

  1. Joel Tooley says:

    Dr. Boone,

    Your transparency in leadership continues to inspire measly servants like me in the muddy trenches. The tasks presented to us often evoke a response of, “I’ll wait for the time to be right, for the finances to be in place, for the right team mates to support me, etc.”

    Waiting for the bush to catch fire. Waiting for the voice of God to not only boom with clarity but to calm with compassion. Waiting for the wave to subside…just to catch a breath.

    The grace and peace of Christ has flowed through your message.

    Peace be with you.

  2. Lord, give us even the courage we need to trust you. Reshape our thinking to accommodate a Kingdom as vast and unpredictable as yours. We long to be faithful.

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