Back at It

I am doing pretty interesting work. I study, I read, I pray, I prepare to teach three times on Sunday, also teach other times. I have a full schedule just studying, thinking, reading and writing. I can work from home, begin at the hour of the morning I please and take as long a hiatus as I please as long as I make sure I’m getting a conscientious number of hours in. In Colombia the work week is 48 hours long.

And I have to keep track of the time, to look at the clock and measure it accurately rather than work a long time and say that its enough. I have a clear conscience on that. I can say that I use my time well. And I have to do that because I’m doing what I don’t want to be doing, and every time I come back form a vacation it is harder.

It isn’t the activities I’m doing. And now that my salary is adjusted my life is comfortable, and my position is probably enviable. But this responsibility of pastoring is not one I desire, and so the thing becomes more and more difficult. Perhaps like a gradual hardening of the arteries of the soul. If it goes on, it is going to become dreadful.

Only God places pastors, for which I am very grateful. Only God gives them the desire and the supernatural graces to carry on the work.

Here is what’s lamentable: that people want to make pastors out of the people they’d like to see doing it on the preposterous notion that there aren’t enough, as if God didn’t give enough. As if the work of God depended on people being willing enough. So they try to use browbeating and guilt. Which is not how God does it, is it? There is something to be said for his placing there a desire.

Not that I think it has to start out with a desire. But for anything you’re going to do long-term, there has to be a certain joy and willingness on your part if it is going to be done well. And that is a truth hard to argue with; one of those things that rings true down in the deep heart’s core. Because nobody who of good-will desires for another the pastorate, desires for that other a mediocre pastorate.


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