Bachelor’s degree. A Master’s Degree that takes 3.5 years to earn if you go full-time. Over a hundred thousand dollars in school loans. Moving your entire family 700 miles away from grandparents and cousins, aunts and uncles. Spending every holiday at church, not with your kids or your parents. Smiling when you don’t feel like it. Biting your tongue when someone insults you or your family. Feeling broken, alone, and like you aren’t doing anything right. Why would I do this? Why would anyone want to sign up for a job like that?
Sometimes I ask myself the same question. I wonder what I am doing in Central New York. I wonder how in the world did a person like me ever become a pastor. For some reason, God decided this life was a good idea for me, and my family. Some days I wonder about the wisdom in our Creator’s decision to call me to the ministry, but what do I know. I have the opportunity that many people will never have. I get to be there when babies are born, when people are married, and when they die. Intimate moments, certainly. I am privy to secrets of the heart, that are known only to the person that owns them and to God. I get to stand behind a pulpit week after week and proclaim the Gospel truth; the Good News that is our Lord and Savior is alive, and will return again for us all. Some days loving others is really easy, and others, loving even myself is difficult.
I get to live this life as a pastor, for whatever time I am given or until God tells me to stop. But I do not know how I would define myself, if at least part of my definition was not pastor. This life I live can be difficult, but anything worth doing, certainly is. I am just going to continue to get it somewhere close to right.