My grandson, Luke, has a dream. So do I. Someday I want to retire.
I want to live life at a slower pace.
I'd like my life to be driven by something other than a schedule and the demands of others.
I'd like to work with people who are happy with my help instead of working with some that only seek to find in me what they can criticize.
I'd like to volunteer at a place that serves the developmentally disabled.
I'd like to do pulpit supply and maybe teach some Bible classes. No meetings!
I'd like to have a small home office where I can study without interruption and be able to read for as long as I want.
I'd like to be a helpful "Papa" to my grand kids.
I'd like to travel with my dear, sweet wife. Or just take long walks around our neighborhood.
Ministry offers more blessings than can be counted. But it is hard, stressful work.
Those who criticize their pastors have no idea of just how difficult ministry can be. They are not aware of the emotional energy it takes, day in and day out, to be a pastor.
They also have no idea just how severely most pastors beat themselves up over their perceived flaws and short comings.
Many in my congregation gave me a real emotional boost at my 10th anniversary gathering. Those people affirmed my ministry. I thank the Lord that he has surrounded me with so many people who love and appreciate what I do.
So I'll keep going for awhile. And I'll keep dreaming about retirement.
God, forgive me. Lord, help me.