Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rumbling, Stumbling, Bumbling...

I've been incredibly introspective today! There are all sorts of thoughts and ideas rolling around in my head (none of which I can disclose or discuss at the moment), and I'm reminded for the umpteenth time that I've chosen to accept a calling that is noble, fulfilling, complex, difficult and often very, very lonely. I've discovered that everybody else can do this job better than those who are actually doing it (at least that's what they think), until they find themselves in a similar position. I was recently asked by a pastor why I didn't tell him how difficult this road was to navigate. Funny thing is, that really was all I did tell him. But the hapless pastor, adorned in his rose colored glasses, must have had too much ear wax that day to hear what I was saying.

The pastor's lifestyle is far from epicurean and so if you don't have a taste for the, shall we say, less than palatable, you might want to rethink your calling. I'm not certain if I have the mot juste to describe what I'm trying to say here, except to say that I applaud those who have thrown their hats in the ring and are 'slugging' it out toe to toe with everything that our eclectic culture throws at us as we attempt to carve a niche for our sometimes unpalatable message. I've used the following quote ad naseum, but since I'm yet to find anyone who can say it better than Teddy Roosevelt; here goes one more time to all you warriors:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belings to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; whoe errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never bee with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's that pesky earwax that ends up getting in your eyes AND smudges up and dulls those lovely rose tinted lenses. I hate when that happens! ;-).

Thanks again, Joseph.

I suppose telling a Sheperd to "get your Pastor Glam on" is oxymornic! In the real Pastor world, ain't alotta glam..really.

I'm anonymous here but not at facebook. ;-)

Thea said...

I applaud you and Sola and the others who have been called to shepard, lead and serve in the way you do. I am certain the road is lonely at times while I can't say I understand what that feels like or that I have been in quite the same place myself. I can say that I am grateful from the depths of my heart for pastors and teachers including you! No doubt the darkest times in my own life have found me seeking a hand to guide or looking for someone to say "keep walking this way!" when my own ears werent' attuned to the Spirit. Keep doing what you're have my utmost respect and I'm certain I'm not the only one.

Hope R. Clark said...

Nope... Thea's not the only one who has the utmost respect, admiration, and love for your family.