I made up an amusing word the other day. At least, I believe I am the first to have coined it. Its meaning is: Looking forward to something that doesn’t turn out as you expected. The word? ANTICIPOINTMENT. I know of few pastors who at some level cannot identify with that word.
Ministry usually comes via a “calling.” The call can be a bit mystical and emotional, or simply the response to a perceived need. We would hardly consider ourselves drafted (except for the occasional “woe is me if I do not preach the Gospel”). As a result we enter our calling with fresh ideals and lofty ambitions. After all, if God is on our side, who can stand against us?
And then we find out.
There’s a whole battle group arrayed against us—from theological divisions to counseling problems that were never even heard of when we were getting our schooling. We face disastrous consequences of everything from a falling economy to the effects of the sins in our culture.
I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul, when describing his vast sufferings, wrote the phrase “. . . besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” This alongside stonings, repeated beatings, shipwrecks, hunger, thirst and sleep deprivation. Only a pastor could understand an ecclesiastical concern nestled in with the rest of the list.
I cannot lift the weight of the world off of your shoulders. But I may be of help in lifting a bit of the load. Here’s why and here’s how:
God built me to be an exhorter. I live to encourage. My reward is to see hope come alive. Working alongside the Holy Spirit to instill “fresh hearts” in those who are discouraged or beaten down makes me feel good about being useful in God’s Kingdom.
I would love for you to find encouragement here as well as an occasional challenge. And I would love to put a bit of pressure on you to step out of the box and try coloring outside the lines … at least periodically. These are new days and God has some new ideas in which to wrap the old, old story.
Maybe I can help!