It ceases to amaze me that Jesus’ disciples saw him feed thousands, yet miss the miracle of it all. It happened a second time before Jesus stopped them and made them refocus. I can imagine the twelve got caught up in the “How To” of the actual feeding of the thousands. They had to go through groups of 50 and 100, continually breaking bread and fish, which seemed a never-ending chore. Then they had clean up duty collecting basketfuls of leftovers and wondering what to do with it all.
I am sure they were dumbfounded when later Jesus rebukes them for their unbelief. He fed thousands, yet they freaked out when seeing him walk on water. They had witnessed water into wine, healings of leprosy, deliverance from demons, and even the raising of the dead, yet they were so busying in the “doing” of all of this, that they missed out the significance of the moment.
How often do we get caught up “doing church” that we miss “being the Church”? or administrating and doing the programs that we miss what God did during them? When I was Lay Witness Missions Coordinator, I got so busy overseeing the weekend as the focal point of leadership, I would often ask my wife when leaving the church where we had just ministered, “What happened this weekend?” I had to learn to stop, during the weekend, and smell the roses. I had to stop from breaking the loaves and fish to realize the significance of what the Holy Spirit was doing at that moment.
When there is a new work, a new church being birthed, a new ministry, there is excitement. Often when we get caught up in the excitement we miss the significance of the moment. An effective evangelist has to learn to not get caught up in the “how-tos” of the moment, but learn how to cherish the moment, smell the roses, the fresh loaves, the fish. Unlike the disciples, let’s not miss Jesus when caught up in the midst of the “doing” of the work. If we miss Jesus, the doing means nothing.