Sometimes I really open my mouth to change feet!
In a previous post entitled "Sometimes I wonder if I've had ANY impact this year", I blew off some serious steam about the frustrations and feelings of inadequacy I get from time to time as a minister - forgetting at times that (a) I'm a first-year probationer, (b) I've only been with my present congregations for 11 months, and (c) I am a human being trying to minister to other human beings.
Unfortunately, in the same post I linked to a post on Jenny's blog, which may have created the impression that she was somehow expressing the same feelings in her own congregations that I am experiencing in mine. While that may be true of all ministers from time to time, my response may have inadvetently cast aspersions on her congregations as well as on her work as a minister - something I did not intend. The graciousness with which she accepted my apology speaks volumes for her Christian character - something she no doubt carries into her ministry as well.
I know I tend to be a bit impulsive at times, engaging the mouth before the brain is in gear. A bit like Peter, in fact (although I've thankfully stopped short of cutting off anyone's ear!) - and look what our Lord managed to do with him! I pray therefore that you won't judge any of us too harshly - we are after all trying to learn how to be good ministers, worthy of the call that God has placed on our lives. One that I know I often fall way, way short of...
But apart from me jumping to conclusions, in a sense putting two and two together and getting five, something I need to explore is this feeling of inadequacy that I experience from time to time. Is this something common to ministers? Or is it a Phase One "thing"? Does it ever go away, or is it what keeps us humble? Do I need to accept that, just as I reap where others have sown, so too I may be sowing for others to reap?
Perhaps this is why I am being sent to the seminary next year, so that I can receive the necessary "spiritual panelbeating" to enable me to deal with these feelings - or at the very least, learn to accept them as part and parcel of life as a minister. Despite my earlier misgivings about seminary, I'm starting to see the wisdom more and more...
Twenty One - My daughter turned 21 a week ago. She had friends and family around over the weekend. We had a beautiful day for it.
12 hours ago