Wisdom of Women- Robyn Afrik
I once had a professor who referred to anyone who worked towards justice as an "agent of change". Back then, in college, it sounded so romantic, so intriguing, so full of possibilities. It is a phrase that still calls me back to myself when "doing justice" loses its romance, even if only temporarily. The romance of doing justice can fade for many reasons, but the one this series has focused on is busy-ness. For a couple weeks we have listened to successful women share how they stay connected to God in busy ministry seasons. Today, we have with us Robyn Afrik- wife, mom, and very busy entrepreneur for the sake of the Kingdom. Every time I encounter Robyn, despite a busy schedule, she is fully present with those around her. How does she do it? Keep reading! I introduce to you, Robyn!
It is so good to be walking with you in your season of ministry! Glad to know you are being called to the front lines of Justice. For those who may have been doing this for a while or for those who are newly engaged, I cannot stress enough how incredibly important it is to remain spiritually healthy so that you do not become easily disillusioned, distracted or disappointed by what is truly the social witness of ‘change’ in this great battle.
Even for the individual who has seemingly endless courage, determination, passion and focus, one must work through their understanding from which the source of that ‘power’ is pulled. If the source to become engaged with ‘injustice’ derives from anything less than our strength and dependence on God; i.e. our own hurts, frustration, escape, misplaced pain and or false justifications, we become vulnerable to burn out, temptation and ultimately defeat.
One of the simpler, but more powerful spiritual disciplines I use daily is a primer.
If you’ve ever painted walls, you may have heard the term primer before. Primer is a thin layer of paint that goes onto the wall before actually painting it with color. The function of that primer is to help secure the actual paint to the wall because the condition of the wall may not be in the best shape. It also protects the coat of paint from wearing out and gives it a healthier and stronger life.
In the ‘ministry’ we are called to, our minds become like those walls. We (will) begin to carry around worries, thoughts, struggles and concerns re: the problems and mounting pressure we encounter; i.e. marginalized voices not being heard, arguments (indirect/direct) with power systems, feeling compromised when we settle for illusions of progress. All of these things pick at our minds like a wall with dings, holes, scrapes and dents. Then, we run to God with all of our burdens, sometimes in tears and when God is ready to put a fresh coat of paint over us, our minds aren’t ready to receive the new perspective he has to give.
The following discipline is called: “Be Still and Know That I Am God”
Directions: Find a quiet place (preferably before you begin your day). Sit with out distraction, light a candle (optional) and close your eyes. Then, the following phrases are to be read aloud (see below) in order and as exactly as they are written. It is important to pause for a few minutes in-between each phrase and to savor every word as you say them out loud. Hold on to the words in your mind as though they are all you have and think about what the words are literally asking you to do. Do not rush through this exercise. This is a spiritual discipline that if done too quickly, will not result in the practice of being present. It has helped me prime the mind so that I may RECEIVE whatever God wants to give for my day and helps me remain still long enough to let it take root.
1. Be still and know that I am God.
2. Be still and know that I AM
3. Be still and know
4. Be still
Now, (you can) listen from a new place of rest, of perfect peace and a fresh perspective. God is going to give you something that elevates you to a new place of ‘being’ so that all of your ‘doing’ is beyond reaction.
See you on the field.
When Robyn isn’t thinking or talking about race, diversity, identity, justice or God, she is usually out slaying White Elephants who think they’ve escaped the room.
For more information, Robyn Afrik can be reached at:
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