Easter is one of those big days. In our spiritual lives, family lives and church lives, it is a highlight of the year. We plan for it. We anticipate it. And like other big events, it ends quickly. As a pastor, Easter always holds great joy. We hope for great spiritual fruit. We hope to reconnect people who have drifted away. We pray for the day. We push to make it big. And often it is. But then what?
I remember the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. By faith, he called down fire from heaven. He won the greatest of spiritual battles. And soon, he was in a cave asking God to just kill him. That is the ups and downs of ministry. And often the bigger the up, the deeper the down. So, what do we do? How do we deal with the Monday after Easter?
1. Give thanks for the event. Events are things we remember. It is great to have victories we can measure, no matter how small. For many of us, it was the biggest Sunday of the year. Be grateful for it. Know that God gave you something, a time to enjoy Him in a new way.
2. Don’t measure the rest of your life by the event. Events, no matter how big or small, aren’t the measure of life. If you had a great day with family and friends, it doesn’t mean that we’ve got it all together. If we filled the sanctuary, it doesn’t mean our church is healthy. If you felt especially close to the Lord, it doesn’t mean you’ll walk with Him this week. Events are great. But life is measured in totality, not just in events.
3. Take a breath and take a long view. Stop for a time today. And let God redirect your thinking past the event, to the long view. The blessings you enjoyed in the event, can be enjoyed more and more each day, if we set some goals for the long haul. How can you have more of that joy (without the hype), a little more next week? How can you touch people next month? How will you walk with God 6 months from now?
4. Strive for patterns not events. Events are fun markers, celebrations, but we can’t just live from event to event. That is like someone living from one spiritual paycheck to another. The time between paychecks is filled with diappointments, frustrations and debt (hoping the next paycheck event will wipe it all away). We need patterns of spiritual growth. We need patterns of ministering to others. We need to develop new daily disciplines. This is what brings change.
5. Anticipate the joy of the next event. It’s coming. Unless Jesus comes back (the ultimate event), we will have Christmas and Easter again. And those will be grand times to celebrate. And like we did for yesterday, we hope they will honor the One who is worthy of celebration and honor.
So, what will you do this week after Easter? How will you get over the event and move into the joys of living, growing, and serving the Living One daily?