You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Pastor

I am fascinated by the different fields of employ.  By that, I mean it intrigues me that people give themselves to life works of which I know little if anything.  There are entire industries outside my practical and theoretical knowledge.  Why and how did they come to exist, and what motivates people to toil in their environs?  I know what motivates me.

There are many different ways and means of living.  Therein lays the fascination.  If you already know how to do something, it seems easy though others marvel at your skill and sagacity.  I once heard Hall of Famer, Bill Russell, say that dunking a basketball was no big deal.  Well, it is to the rest of us!  What is mundane just might depend on who you ask.

In the misunderstanding of career choices, people will disparage others by saying things like, “You don’t know what it’s like to work a real job.”  Comments such as these are thrown at those who have flexible schedules, are self-employed or work outside the mainstream.  I know.  I’ve been one of them almost my entire working life.  As a part of the perceived minority, let me say that a “real job” is anything (legitimate) you get paid to do and is not subject to over-analysis.  Because we do not comprehend complex issues does not mean they are not valid.

One of the things about working an amoebic schedule is that you never know what you’re going to get.  It’s hard to know when you will have down time or whether you will have time off at all.  Often, when others are busy, you will be less so and the other way around.  There will be many occasions to yearn for a job description.

The pastoral life offers unique, rewarding and frustrating perspectives.  While a part of the self-employed set, even the IRS recognizes that we sorta are and sorta aren’t.  If that’s confusing to you, try living it.  You’re neither up nor down.  While most enter the murky waters of financial self-reliance for greater remuneration, many pastors consider this aspect as an afterthought being driven by different forces.

Much church work doesn’t seem church-related.  Like a lot of things in life, the decision to enter the field brings with it a host of issues and incidents.  It can be discouraging to realize that what you signed up for is not what you signed up for.  Those called by God to enter ministry love spiritual work but find that much of their actual work is decidedly unspiritual.  Talk about a punch in the gut.

In a fallen world, even spiritual pursuits are tainted.  The “down and dirty” aspect of lofty pursuits can make us question even the underpinnings of heavenly concerns.  One disillusioned striver penned a book entitled Don’t Call Me Brother.  As ever, our great enemy uses hurts to halt the toiler on his spiritual quest.

Focusing on faults is not fair.  There are great blessings to be found as we imperfectly follow the heavenly road.  One is the smile of God on the life.  Nothing is as invigorating as involvement in a cause of eternal worth though bought with temporal pain.  Being confident in the call and placement of the Almighty is the meaning of life whether or not one is a professional member of the clergy.  Many times, after hours or days of disappointment, I have laid down in the arms of the Most High.     

From the human standpoint, I am thankful for the times I’ve been able to be personally involved in the lives of others.  It’s easy to look at the hurtful and forget the holy.

It has been a privilege to life this life.  Many people over the years have allowed me to be part of their lives as a minister of the gospel.  They have accepted me for what I have been gifted to give even as we are all accepted in the Beloved.  You’re the key to my peace of mind.

Sterl

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