The State of My Heart

I need a category called *sigh*. This post would definitely get filed there.

I’m going to try to describe something about how I’m feeling, even though I thoroughly DON’T have to energy to put it into words. I’m aware this is a dangerous thing. In fact, I really ought to be sleeping instead of tapping away at my keyboard, but gut-spilling is medicinal for me. Eight hours of sleep with no self-examination or four hours of sleep with my ducks in a row: tough call.

Anyhow, here’s the state of my heart:

I am weary. I’m ridiculously busy, putting in roughly sixteen hours a day. I was complaining about it for a while, but in a conversation with Tim, I realized that I’m only as busy as I want to be. I’m choosing to work sixteen hours a day. If it were bad enough, I’d change my lifestyle. Of course, it’s a simple thought; but it got me digging deeper inside. What is my motivation?

Part of me wants so badly just to put the associate pastor title up on the shelf and invest all I have into my thriving web design business. Looking for investors, hiring employees, the works. I have the connections, the references, the skill set and a real passion for the work I do. I’ve been able to do fairly well balancing both jobs, but I’ll never be able to grab the big opportunities when they come because I just don’t have the time or energy. That’s incredibly frustrating when I have such a vision for PlasticMind Design.

And yet as I sit and talk with people from our church, I see such great need. People who need someone committed to them, someone who will set the example for them. Someone to cut them down in their pride, someone to lift them up in their brokenness. I’ve never understood people who can treat the ministry like a job; compartmentalizing would certainly be easier, but it seems so hollow and fake. Love and concern and then the whistle blows and I’m off to the races again?

It’s not just the people with needs that make me step back and take a moment to think. Part of my hesitancy is what I see business turning people into. I’ve met the guys who are either so egocentric they keep banging their inflated head on low-hung doors or so money/prestige/power-hungry that everything becomes a footnote to their occupation. I can’t get Jesus’ words out of my head: “You can’t serve God and money.” Simple words, stupendous implications. How can my ambition and spiritual slavery coincide?

I know a big part of this struggle is the fact that I feel completely and utterly inadequate as a pastor, at the same time feeling like I’ve been gifted as a web designer. But His strength is made perfect in our weakness, no? So do I find my weakest spot and hunker down there? Someone told me the other day that I’d make a great pastor and laughed at them. This is not clever, manipulative self-deprecation; this is a genuine concern for those in ministry under me. The job of a pastor is never one taken lightly as nearly everything you do has a profound impact on those under your care.

Maybe my problem is pride. I’ve wrestled with the idea that I want to pursue web design because I’m good at it. I constantly feel like an abysmal failure as a pastor. And like anyone else, I want to be recognized for my strengths, not constantly reminded of my weaknesses. But I really shouldn’t be seeking recognition at all, should I?

The hour grows late (early) and I’m no further along. Suffice it to say, I have made a commitment to those in this church, and I will be faithful. Trying to do that with one foot in the church and one foot in a business venture isn’t easy.