“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
Working! Planning! Organizing! As Presbyterian Women we do all these good things to carry the light of Jesus into people lives. Then something unexpected happens. All our “doing” falls flat: the workers are on vacation; no one likes the plan; or, worse, the event is poorly attended. At one time or another, I think we all have found ourselves in this situation. As Christians and as Presbyterian Women in particular—who I like to define as “worker bees” of the faith—this can be so disappointing that we just want to quit trying. We become weary of “doing good”.
But Paul in Galatians 6: 9 tells us: “Let us not become weary in doing good…” Paul continues by telling us that we must “do good” until the “proper time to reap the harvest…” This means we must preserver. However, this can be a problem because we often think that we must keep doing the same activity—such as a traditional PW Gathering with reports and speakers, etc.— and/ or carry the activity out in same way we have always done it— reports, speakers, etc. What we need to realize is the activity is the path we have chosen for “doing good”. Thus the activity may be the problem. The good news: We can change the activity.
You may ask: How then should we define “doing good”. What is it that we should not tire of or cast away? John Piper, referencing Galatians 5:22f explains, it best:
“…don’t grow weary of being patient and kind and good and faithful and gentle and self-controlled. Don’t grow weary of manifesting your peace and joy in all kinds of acts of love to your neighbors and associates and family. In short, don’t lose heart in spending yourself through love…” (@John Piper)
I think we Presbyterian Women in the Northeast understand that change can lift our spirits. We have all experienced a renewal of energy and joy when we have changed activities in our efforts to bring women together in study, planning, worship, etc. For example, PW of Hudson Valley and PW of Northern New England realized that the traditional PWP meetings were not working. Attendance was low (does that sound familiar). Now, instead of the traditional Gatherings, these Gatherings have been replaced by a yearly spiritual retreat. Another example: The Presbyterian Women of Albany, Utica, Cayuga-Syracuse, Geneva, and Western New York have coordinated together to host a regional “leap frog down the Thruway” Fall Gathering featuring Judy Persons, Churchwide Vice Moderator for Mission Relations. Excitement reigns in anticipation of Judy’s visit. The list of examples could go on and on.
Yes, change can help. We know this. The change helps us to stay steadfast in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, a must in all that we plan and do. God Bless you all. Amen. Amen.
Maxine G. Hunter