Friday, March 16, 2007

Today is Friday. Friday’s are youth group night. I like youth group. No, I’m not a youth. I do not wish to be a youth again. That being said I like being with youth. A parent who came early to pick up her son, sat as we did a “sports” night at the community gymnasium and shaking her head, said to me: “and you do this every Friday night?” I nodded and said: “I love it.” And it’s true I do. She commented that I must have a lot of patience. I suppose I don’t know how much patience other people have, so I don’t know.

Youth are neat. I see myself reflected back to me. Some of them remind of me when I was in high school. Others remind me of friends I have or had. Others are totally new to me. I see so much potential.

I mentioned in a previous post about homework. Writing out the things that stress me out and the things I do to cope with said stress. It was an interesting exercise. I tried to do it as honestly as I could and yet I still feel like I’m not even aware of all the things that stress me out. I won’t share all of those things with you, but I was surprised a little to see how much of my stress is essentially my own doing. I feel called to be a pastor. Some of you will know what that means intellectually and others will know what that means entirely. Some may have no clue what I’m talking about. I feel, strongly, that God wanted me to be a pastor, to this community, to this church, at this time. I know for those outside the church that would sound a little “over the top”, but, it is what it is.

That being said, I often feel entirely and completely inadequate to the task(s) of ministry. So there’s this kind of cognitive dissonance that happens. I feel overwhelmed and unable to do such and such a task, but I know that’s what I’m supposed to do, I know that’s what I’ve been trained to do, that’s what I’ve been called to do, so here we go, let’s jump in with both feet shall we? (I’m often praying; “God you had better show up or this is going to be bad!”) God has always pulled through for me. Although, I know that sometimes, that God really did work in spite of me. I mean, he always does, sometimes it’s just more evident.

I know that many struggle with whether or not they should do this or that within the church, because they feel that someone else must be better at it then they are. My thoughts are, likely there is someone out there who might be better than I am at this job. I can pretty much guarantee that; but they’re not here. And, if that person where here, that doesn’t mean I don’t have to do anything. A friend of mine used to always say: “Suck it up, buttercup”.

So like many of you, I battle my own mind, my own desires, my own fears and I call upon Christ to come and help me, as it’s clear (to most, but especially me) that I’m incapable of changing anything on my own.

A passage that has been "soaking" in the back of my head. Take from it what you will...

Isaiah 61:1-3 (NIV)

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

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