Right after Katelyn was born, I bought letters to put her name on the wall of her room... six months later, today I'm finally painting them and hanging them. It is quite interesting how parenthood changes your time usage.
If you are "long-time" readers of the Herald-Gazette, you'll know that we were NOT fans of "Oh, just wait till the baby comes!" As a matter of fact, I have vowed to NEVER say that to expecting parents. It's just such an unfair statement. Yes, my time management has changed quite a bit since the arrival of our Dukeling, but I absolutely refuse to blame her for adjustments she has precipitated in our schedule. Fact is, we're the ones with earthly responsibility of her existence. If Allison and I had made different choices at certain points in time, we would likely be experiencing a very different life right now. But we love our current one (teething and all).
This weekend, I have been pondering the similarities of parenthood and the pastorate. Both are relatively new to me, and really, surprisingly similar. For example: as a parent, I have to think about my daughter's best interest for the long-term, not just right now. Just because she WANTS to roll off my lap and hit the floor doesn't mean it's a good idea. Similarly, I have to look at the long-term for my church as well. Just because something is "how we've always done it," or someone's "pet project" doesn't mean it is in the best interest of the church to be involved or to endorse it. I have to look at what we want to see happen in the next couple of years, and consider if those things line up. And sometimes people get their cheese moved, and they get mad.
Sometimes, things are just hard. Right now, Katelyn is teething. A very unpleasant experience for her that must be endured. And it hurts. A lot. It is necessary, though. Just think about what it would be like if you didn't have teeth. In a church, we fight a battle that is not of flesh and bone, and the Devil thinks he can convince us that we can't win. His problem, though, is that Christ already won. We now fight the battle to recruit as many more people as possible to the Army. And it's hard. And it can hurt, a lot.
Perhaps the most obvious similarity for me is that I am HIGHLY imperfect at both. I am SO thankful for God's grace in both. God has blessed us that parenthood and the pastorate are well intertwined. Our church has pretty much adopted Katelyn as their own, and we have been blessed beyond measure. I pray that my efforts in both areas will have lasting impacts on the Kingdom of God.
Christ be praised. Peace.