Jump directly to the Content

Staying Motivated

A motivated Christian is a relaxed and grateful Christian.
—Ben Patterson

One of the most remarkable plants in nature is the ibervillea sonorae. It can exist for seemingly indefinite periods without soil or even water. As Annie Dillard tells the story, one was kept in a display case in the New York Botanical Garden for seven years without soil or water. For seven springs it sent out little anticipatory shoots looking for water. Finding none, it simply dried up again, hoping for better luck next year.

Now that's what I call being motivated: hanging on, keeping on when it's not easy.

But motivation can run out, even for the ibervillea sonorae. In the eighth year of no soil and water, the rather sadistic folks at the New York Botanical Garden had a dead plant on their hands.

Most pastors know what it's like to find themselves past their seventh season, bereft of soil, thirsty, and waiting for the eighth spring. No more motivation; barely enough energy to send out another anticipatory shoot. With ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Martha: Busy Hostess or Dragon Slayer?
Martha: Busy Hostess or Dragon Slayer?
The Gospel of John and medieval legend show Mary’s sister to value theology and hospitality.
Editor's Pick
How Might the COVID-19 Crisis Reshape our Churches for Good?
How Might the COVID-19 Crisis Reshape our Churches for Good?
We have a unique opportunity to reset, pivot from old patterns, and look afresh at the future.