Today is the 10th anniversary of being ordained. I don’t think any amount of other ministry or theological college can prepare you for this unique role.
In many ways it is a privilege to do this role, to have so many wonderful opportunities to talk to people about Jesus is a fantastic thing.
I remain 10 years on as passionate about people coming to know Jesus, and growing in discipleship, but it has been really tough, and as I think back over the 10 years there have been some wonderful highs and blessing, but a lot of it has been something of an uphill battle.
I remember I had to write to some emerging leaders with some advice, and my two bits of advice were to “keep the main thing the main thing” -and the main thing is Jesus; my second attribute needed wasn’t any great a glitzy gift like being able to preach like Spurgeon or have the faith of Smith Wigglesworth, but rather the perseverance of Nehemiah… just keeping on building despite the challenging’s, pain, difficulties, opposition and discouragements.
Two things I have come to learn (or at least tried to remember) is that first God is good and faithful even when we don’t understand his ways or his plan, and the second is that ultimately it isn’t about what people think of you and their opinion of you isn’t what defines you, actually it is what God thinks that matters most, live ultimately lived for that audience of one.
I spoke to a colleague of mine this morning, who shared at in one of his toughest and darkest points, he met an elderly clergyman in his 90’s, who said to him “keep on preaching Jesus”… echoing with my college motto, which was “woe to me if I do not preach the gospel”.
It is all about Jesus, and him crucified, the one who was faithful and obedient even to death on a cross.
It is ultimately not about anything else that being faithful to Jesus, who is faithful to us.
One of the theological colleges motto is “the one who calls you is faithful” -which today feels a good message to remember.
A poem I have found challenge, and one I have failed miserably at, but I want to close this blog with is this (it is written by Mother Teresa of Calcutta).
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.