Internal Compass Spinning

Date: 27 Jul 2010 Comments: 0

It has been almost two months since I returned from my vacation and thusly started Sundays without being a pastor. I am not entirely sure how to explain this feeling as it is so multifaceted that only a few words used in description would cheapen it. First and foremost, I feel like I am somewhat of a failure as minister of God’s Word. While it is true that I reaped some wonderful fruits while doing so and planted even more seeds for another good man of God to reap when the time is right, my human conscience tells me that I failed. Why? Mostly because I feel that I gave up too early or that I late personal opinions come in the way of doing God’s work. I have spiritually accepted that I faced harder spiritual warfare than I was prepared to face but I repeatedly beat myself up by saying “If I had just been there a little longer…” but God has been working on my heart to relieve this pain and I have been seeking His face and His peace over this but the intensity is still very strong.

Today is the second day that the youth group I led has been at Falls Creek, they are already settled in and I am sure their spirit is being tempered as we speak. I confess I am a little jealous that it is not me who is there witnessing it. I have never been to Falls Creek in my entire life but I am well aware that it is an amazing place where transformations like no other will happen. I am wanting to send a letter to encourage and lift those students up. Perhaps I will do that today.

After my normal time of intense prayer (I confess that this time is in my shower since no one else is ever awake when I shower) last night, I was lead to pick up Tiff’s old NKJV from the shelf in our closet. I flipped through the old, worn out Bible she used when she was a youth herself and found my way to Hebrews 12, a chapter that I confess I have never paid much attention to. I was drawn to Hebrews 12:7-8 which reads: “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline) then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.” (NIV). This was rather harsh at first but as I read further in, I found that the chapter was focusing on accepting discipline so that we can grow stronger and learn to know God deeper. I am not entirely sure whether God is trying to tell me that the time spent serving as a youth pastor was a disciplinary action to draw closer to Him or if I am feeling so lost because I gave up on the mission too early. Perhaps the more universal truth here is that as a Christian, I can expect fo face hardships and that some are even put in place by God to teach me semething that I would otherwise not be concerned with. Only further time will tell.

As it stands, Tiff and I have been visiting Emmaus Baptist Church for the past month or so and although we like that it is only a short distance from home (literally 5 blocks if that) and the people have embraced us openly, we just don’t feel quite right. Every time I felt a challenge during my time as a pastor, I kept wishing I could run back to my old home church of Northwest Baptist where I am comfortable and where I have grown spiritually in monumental strides. The instant I stepped down from Agape, I thought “I can finally go back to NWBC” but the distance to get there (at least 20 minutes and that’s in fast traffic) means that we will have to be up earlier again and that we will not be able to enjoy too many of the events outside of church since they usually run late. Yet, we did it before, why not again? Tiff is okay with us going back to NWBC if we decide to, she just reserved that she would not take back up helping in the nursery like she used to, she wants to spend more time in our LifeGroup and so do I.

So far, that seems to be the thing that we are both at the most peace with. Despite moving churches, I have always looked to Dr. Ben as my spiritual mentor and try as I may, I could not see the pastor I served with at Agape as such nor could I see that in the pastor at Emmaus. Perhaps I am just shallow or perhaps that is much more important than I credit it. Either way, I have a meeting with Dr. Ben tomorrow at 4pm where I hope to get some advice on how to pull myself out of the rut I am in and how to heal after feeling like a miserable failure as a minister. If I have time after getting those out of the way, I might see what the world is like at NWBC nowadays and see if I feel like we could go back there and rebuild. Most of all, I just want my spiritual compass to stop spinning.

God Bless!

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