Sam Storms has an excellent piece on what he wished he had known 40 years ago when he entered the ministry. How many of us love this idea? To know… To know… O how wonderful it would have been to know before the crisis arrived, before the disappointment, before the heart ache.
But … we are not omniscient. Most of us struggle to be partially scient. Even when we do know, often act like we don’t.
Back to Sam Storms. His number three really hit home:
I wish I’d known how deeply and incessantly many (most?) people suffer. Having been raised in a truly functional family in which everyone knew Christ and loved one another, I was largely oblivious to the pain endured by most people who’ve never known that blessing. For too many years I naively assumed that if I wasn’t hurting, neither were they. I wish I’d realized the pulpit isn’t a place to hide from the problems and pain of one’s congregation; it’s a place to address, commiserate with, and apply God’s Word to them.
I often wonder what a normal family is like. I’ve always wanted a family, a normal family. I loved having my boys with me the past week, but because of my abby-normal family, I had to cart them off to their mother’s. I honestly hate this life. There are so few times of joy. Time with my boys, worship of God, and sleep. The rest of life truly sucks. I’m too a point in life where there isn’t much illusion left. I don’t see a silver lining. There are no more ships coming in. Someone has killed the leprechaun and the rainbows are no longer shining.
Tomorrow it is back to the drudgery of substitute teaching, which I loathe. It pays just enough to get me out of the house, but not much more. And, I’m still looking for a decent job. What I have discovered is that people really don’t want to hire or work with an ex-pastor. For some reason, I intimidate them with my o so great spirituality (sarcasm). I just want a job that pays the bills, so I can live on my own, and … well, that would be invoking the desire of a silver lining again.