It’s been another hard week. Another week that I’m living on the edge of crisis, expecting the congregation to come tumbling down any minute. More stuff happened, pushing us closer to the precipice.
And yesterday morning I crawled into the shower. The stupid shower with the terrible showerhead and the tiny bit of water pressure. And my first conscious thought was: Well, at least I’ll have water pressure wherever I go next.
And immediately I realized… how selfish I was.
How can I stand firm if what I want is good water pressure? How can I encourage God’s people to stand against the world when, apparently, all I want is a better shower? How can I say, in good conscience, that the congregation is falling apart… when apparently I’d rather be someplace else anyway?
Yeah. That brought a lot of shame. And it should have.
I’m guilty of looking for a way out. I’m guilty of giving up. I’m guilty and not good enough to be a shepherd when all I want is to get away from the hard stuff.
That’s me: the guy who wants an excuse to run away.
Really, I’ve done this before. I’ve quit from jobs that I didn’t need to quit – or, rather, I quit in a way I shouldn’t have and given excuses that are crap. And here I am, repeating my sin again.
How could I run away? How could I ever look at this congregation God has given me and say, “No, not good enough”?
Yes, this place is so broken. People are embracing sin. Congregation members that “should know better” are running headlong into disaster. Our finances are beyond a mess. I live in a broken, broken place and I’ve been called to serve selfish, twisted people.
But look what God has done. He has called his people from the world. They are not who they were; they are new creations. He has made the dead come alive, and I get to serve this spiritually resurrected people. He has gathered them from so many places to be here. He has given them amazing robes of righteousness. And I get to serve this people? I get to serve the broken saints?
And I want to exchange that… for better water pressure?!
Yeah. Shame is the right word. Shame and guilt. God wants to give me so much… and I want to exchange it for a better shower.
How stupid can one man get?
Don’t answer that.
I won’t say the week has gotten easier. These are still a broken people, and their sin still destroys so many things. Honestly, I still don’t know how God raises his Church out of such ruins… but he’s performed so many miracles before. What’s one more? And if he chooses not to, well, I can serve these people until God makes it clear it’s time to move on.
God has called me here. He doesn’t make mistakes. I need to be reminded of that. Apparently, I need to be reminded of that often. Especially if the promise of a good shower is enough to entice me away.
Father, forgive your stubborn, stupid child. Remind me of the gift of ministry you’ve given me. Renew in me a right spirit.