…It’s definitely a marathon and not a sprint. That cliché truly holds up in my life as a minister. On the other hand, I have come far enough along the journey of ministry to look back and realize I have traveled a good piece thus far and it didn’t seem . There have been days of struggle, though not too many. There have been far more days of joy and triumph, though I haven’t relished them enough.
A marathon-runner I am not. However, I have had the audacity and the good fortune to train for a few half-marathons (full disclosure – I am not much of runner. Never have been; never will be). What I like about running…okay, jogging…is that it forces me out of my comfort zones. To get up and go out there puts me into a set of circumstances that my body and my mind do not always like. The weather is always a reality. My mind tells me, “Stop! It’s too cold” or “Really, in this heat?” There is always that voice in my head that says, “You’re too weak, too slow, too….” That same nagging voice of insecurity says, “Stop!” But then, just a few more steps…and a few more.
Nine years into ministry in the local church as a minister, I’ve taken enough steps on the marathon to look back, and yet, I sure hope there are many more to come. Sure, there will be changes in the weather and I am bound to need rest along the pathway, but I’m going to keep on going. Recently, I have been taking inventory of where I am on God’s pathway. I am amazed at where it has taken me to this point. Here’s to many miles ahead in His Truth and Grace; just one step at a time.
I am greatly encouraged by the many saints that have gone before me. I have been serving in this capacity just long enough to appreciate those who have made it down the road a little further, a little bit longer, a little bit harder. I don’t know when one becomes a veteran in ministry, but I don’t think that’s me yet. What I do know is that I have a greater appreciation for them now than when I started to go – they made the difference. I still love what I do and I consider it a privilege, and so I shall keep jogging onward.
“Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.—Hebrews 12:1-2.