As a pastor, you will face the full range of emotions and life situations.
For yourself and for others.
I have been on the receiving end of tough situations. Ironically, I seem to do better when I am on the receiving end then when it affects others. I really do not like to see others in pain or struggling in life circumstances. Sometimes people make choices and in doing so, they reap the outcomes that are difficult and challenging. The one that I struggle with the most is when “it just doesn’t make sense.” That is a subject for another blog entry.
On the flip side, there are some amazing things I get to celebrate as a pastor. Two of them are weddings proposals and babies being born. I have enjoyed both of these in the last three days in my own family and it is a tremendous rush of emotions and feelings. Now that I have had a couple days to ponder these life changing events, let me share some “bullets” that I have learned.
Babies and Proposals are fun! Honestly, I think the hardest part of life is when it gets monotonous and routine. When my niece’s fiance’ told me he was proposing the next day, I got such a rush inside that I was amped up when I woke up the next morning. I told myself to “play it cool” when I saw her before heading out. I had that same surge when I left work that afternoon that Jaxon was born. I had to read a book to keep my adrenaline down while I was waiting. There are a lot of ways to break up the routine in your life – these are two of the biggies!
Babies and Proposals remind me that “it’s not about you.” (Shout out to Rick Warren for one of the coolest phrases ever!) To watch my son-in-law bounce, and I mean bounce, into the waiting room to announce that he was a father and that his son was healthy and strong was so cool. I remember that feeling every time Kristin and I shared the same moment with our three. It truly reminds me that he and Taylor have their own family now and they will need to continue to build it the way they see God leading them to do so. When Chloe came and showed me her ring, there was such an excitement for her as she is taking the next step in her journey. Vicariously, we all get to enjoy the “other person’s” steps. This happens with good and bad but the good times are so much more fun.
It Extends My Life. In talking with one of my spiritual mentors, Pastor Dale Brooks, he shared this phrase with me and it really resonates. You can either look at life like you are getting older and we all are. However, just because my biological clock is ticking, it is my choice to stay young or get old. To see this little baby breathe, stretch and respond to the touch on a cheek reminds me all over again that life is amazing. To see a young lady rush up to you with a tear in her eye and say, “Out of everyone in the whole world, he picked me!” (My words, not hers) I get teared up just reminiscing through those thoughts. I am not old when I see that. I am infused with a sense of wonder and purpose. I want to see what happens next in both of these situations.
Joy…unspeakable joy! I remember walking with Taylor as we neared the last door before we walked down the aisle. (Another tearing up moment.) I heard for weeks the thoughts of giving my “little girl” away. I never thought that once as the day neared and especially as we walked to that door. I was overwhelmed with a joy that is unmeasurable. I knew she was marrying a young man who would love her more than anyone else and empower her to be achieve all that God had for her. It was one the coolest moments in my life. Until she had Jax. I was so proud of her strength and resolve in giving birth. It is crazy to see this young lady grow from the brace wearing, nervous, eye glass wearing artist into a young woman who is strong, confident and now, a mother. Joy! And the same for Chloe. I have known her since the day she was born. She isn’t the little girl who fell out of a camper during one of our infamous camping trips. She is a young woman who is ready to write a new chapter in her life with a tremendous young man who will walk with her on this journey. Joy! Life is moving forward at such a pace that if we don’t recognize the “wonders” in life, it becomes just another day. Joy!
Hope in the future. For all the news about how bad young people are these days, these two experiences remind me that there are a lot more people doing good than the ones on the news. In both these situations, there was love, honor, respect and growth. Neither couple are perfect – they have enjoyed their struggles and battles like all of us. Yet, in their endurance, they found a win. I love that. I hope all of us can vicariously enjoy their win and in turn, take some time to find some in our own life. When you do, be grateful. A win in life is huge and just what so many of us need to keep growing forward.
As you can see, life changes pretty consistently in my world. Today was a blessing…a reminder that God brings life and life abundantly in so many ways. Find the win in your life today.