Running all over creation…

I recently posted this on Facebook and my wife said I should post it on my blog so here goes….

Prayers needed. Tomorrow is Sunday and I will be running over all creation today to help a friend. Plus, my daughter turns 15 in just a few days….that’s kinda stressful, eh?

One major thought overwhelms me in all this…the idea of being a vocational pastor. In all of this craziness, I can think of no other job I could have which could afford one the flexibility to be there for those in need.

No matter how often I’ve questioned the concept of “paid clergy” over the years, it comes back to the simple truth this work is meant to allow me the freedom to be there for others I would not normally be free to do so.

This reminds me so much of when my mother was ill before her passing. Prior to returning to vocational ministry it was nigh impossible for me to take the time to run home and be with her. During her last year of life, I went to Louisiana at least 4-5 times. This was more than many years previous added together.

Sadly, mom could not realize this because her bed bound state caused the days to run together. In her mind, she thought I was visiting less and less on my return to ministry. It took me a long time to get over this hurt but, now, I understand it more clearly.

Today, and all days in the future, as I walk this ministry path to which God has called me I realize the key area this geekpreacher has been called to:

It is to be available. To share a ministry of presence and, in doing so, realize I cannot be at all places and all times. In living into this “Jesus life” as a pastor, part of my goal is to lead and guide others into this ministry of presence within their local settings.

I may have the freedom, at times, to run to Memphis or half way around the world which reminds me that, as a pastor, I’m to guide those living within a given area to be Christ present in the lives of those right around the corner to them.

This, for me, is how the beauty of the Methodist system of itinerant preachers can be lived out.

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