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Plain and Simple for April 3, 2014
SoVaNow.com / March 31, 2014In my sermon Sunday, I jokingly said that pastors and church staff members were issued perfect families as soon as they took jobs with the church. There is a special warehouse where these families are kept so that church employees never have to worry about family problems while they are doing God’s work.
Of course, I was being less than honest. We have families and we have problems. I always thought that the Roman Catholic Church might have something with their celibacy idea.
Even though we have family problems, I believe we gain something by wading through those problems that Catholic priests miss—perspective. I realize that you do not have to endure every problem to be able to give advice on it.
It is nonsensical to argue that I cannot help someone through the grieving process when they have lost someone in an automobile accident if I have never suffered a similar loss. But there is something to be said for having to go through the daily ritual of family life.
Dealing with your teenager’s angst while helping your wife deal with her mother’s entry into a nursing home brings emotions that are hard to understand without going through them yourself. To me it is much like trying to be a TV Christian. Anyone can be a loving TV Christian; you don’t have to put up with real, live people who disagree with you. You don’t have to get messy and argue and be ignored and have your feelings hurt and still be expected to be a loving Christian.
The guy or gal on TV will always love you as long as you send in a donation now and then.
Life is hard. Kids disappoint you and worry you. Traffic inevitably backs up at the most inopportune time. Money is always a problem. You remember that your Mom had dinner ready and it was good and nutritious.
Now you grab McDonald’s on the run and you feel guilty all the time. You feel tired and you feel as if you never sit down as a family and talk. If you do sit down together, it is because you are watching TV. Then you realize that you are the pastor and you are supposed to be setting some kind of example here.
There are redeeming graces in this messed up life.
God does not abandon us. He is forever calling us to him and providing moments of peace and light. He even allows me to use my crazy life to help me understand how others are watching their lives spiral out of control. It is then that I can take a deep breath and let God take control again.
May you find those peaceful moments and allow God into your life.
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