The Entrepreneur’s Secret to Overcoming Faith’s Dry Seasons
Last week I had dinner with an acquaintance – a Christian business professional and entrepreneur who I sincerely value as friend but don’t see too often. He sat down across the table from me and asked, before anything else, “So, what are you working on these days?” It had been months since we talked. I smiled and remembered why we’re such good friends.
Entrepreneurs always have an idea brewing or something they’re working on. We’re in a constant state of motion, either inventing the next big thing or finding new ways to expand our horizons. Christian business professionals place a significant emphasis on growing and doing. This action oriented characteristic is exactly why “How are you doing?” was a secondary question to “What are you working on?” when we met last week.
If you are anything like me, you’re constantly looking for ways to position yourself for new opportunities. It’s a lifestyle of learning, tinkering, pivoting, and measuring. If you’re anything like Steve Jobs, you sometimes do it to a fault. I know I do. But it is this very characteristic of movement and perfection that makes entrepreneurs and professionals special. It’s also one that I’m learning can put you through dry seasons in your faith.
Faith’s Rollercoaster Ride
Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a season for everything. Any seasoned Christian can attest to this truth – it often feels like our faith is a rollercoaster of ups and downs. As a result, we’re always trying to stabilize our encounters with God, instill consistency in our time with Him, and raise the bar on intimacy. This characteristic is amplified with driven professionals, who take their aspirations to an extreme state.
Lately I’ve seen this manifested in my own life and it is causing problems for my faith. There are seasons where I don’t like reading the Bible or praying. It has nothing to do with my love for God, dedication to the Word, or faith. It has everything to do with frustration. Sometimes reading the Bible or praying just really frustrates me.
When this happens, my mind is quickly filled with doubt. I wonder if God is really there. The Bible doesn’t seem so alive anymore and prayer feels more like talking to the wall than my creator. Frustration perpetuates itself, things get worse, and then I’m in a funk. Even worship at church gets harder. The harder I try to break through, the harder it gets.
Love Is the Answer
Remember when you were a kid in Sunday school, and the right answer was always either “Jesus” or “God’s love”? This time the answer is “God’s love,” and it really is that simple. God’s love is your ticket out of the rollercoaster of faith and the path to consistency. This is especially important for all those Christian business professionals and entrepreneurs who, like me, start their conversations with, “So, what are you working on?”
Fighting through a dry season, one full of frustration, I heard God start to speak to me through multiple channels about His love. God reminded me that I was created for one thing and one thing only: to be loved by Him. This truth was accompanied by a gentle whisper each time I sat down to read the Bible. “Just let me love you.” This isn’t Sunday school; this is the path out of a rut and a radical but simple truth that entrepreneurs need to remember during their personal time with God.
“Just let me love you” matters because as driven individuals, we’re always trying to extract the takeaway and opportunity out of every experience. When we read the Bible, we often work hard to apply the reading to our lives and how it can improve us as people, professionals, and Christians. We view personal time with God as an opportunity for Him to improve us or fix us. Rarely do we view it simply as a time for Him to love us.
Stop Trying So Hard
My frustration was rooted in an ability to “get anything out of” reading the Bible or prayer. When I read scripture or pray, and feel unmoved by it, I quickly just give up and assume I’m broken – that I can’t connect with the Word of God. But the real problem is that sometimes God doesn’t want that special time to be all about fixing me. Sometimes he just wants to spend time with me and pour out His love. After all, I was first and foremost created to be loved by God.
My challenge to you is to read the Bible like a love letter. Stop thinking about your life, what needs to be fixed, or how you can become a better Christian (whatever that means). Stop looking at scripture as an actionable instruction book that is intended to keep you on God’s straight path. While it has that effect, the real purpose of this book is to help you experience God and be loved by Him. For once, stop worrying about “what God is working on” and start soaking in His presence with no other purpose but to be loved.
Photo Credit: Bert Kaufmann (via Flickr Creative Commons)