The Long Haul
“Yeah, I guess the science that excited me was about twenty-year projects. Without that kind of time frame, I’m not sure I’m all that interested in being a scientist....You can’t get much done in a couple years.” -Paul Kalanithi from When Breath Becomes Air page 157
This is the type of attitude I want to have when it comes to pastoral work. Things like grace, prayer, forgiveness, hope, and love take a long time to learn even if taught perfectly, and there is no way I teach perfectly. There are no outcomes or results that can be brought about by me, a pastor. The only thing I can offer is prayer and reminders of faith, hope, and love. The longer I offer these things, the more Jesus can take root in the lives of those I’m fortunate enough to pastor.
Measuring the ministry that God is going to give me in moments isn’t the whole of my ministry. In moments I’m not worth all that much. I constantly say the wrong things. I frequently try to give suggestions instead of a listening ear. I mess things up. My advice might not even be that great. But where I might be of some use is faithfulness over time. The consistency of the commitment to grow in grace and the ability to extend this to others, especially during a time of need.
The development of grace in one's life and the deepening effects of love that bring us closer to Jesus are areas that I’d love to help people see. God is love. It is most clearly seen through Jesus - but it’s hard to see Jesus clearly at times.
Faithfulness over the long haul is what I’d love to have in my life. To show a slow, steady growth in the things of God. I want to be open to God’s grace and change. Out of that openness, I’d love to share a bit of grace. Sharing these things takes far longer than a single conversation. It take a thousand unhurried conversations to seep down into our souls.