Posted tagged ‘Dreams’

Dreams and Reality

May 25, 2011

I have been blessed with 4 wonderful children that I am very proud of.  They have truly been a great blessing in my life and have brought me much joy, even though they’ve brought a lot of stress and frustration as well!  I remember the early days of my marriage before the children came along.  My wife and I talked about how we wanted to raise our children and what methods of discipline we thought were appropriate.  I remember looking with disdain at parents with unruly children and thinking “when I have kids they will never act like that.”  I was going to be the perfect father and they would be the perfect children.  Then I had kids and all those plans and ideas went out the window!  It was so easy to imagine what things were going to be like, but reality was way different.  And honestly, I wouldn’t change reality for those early dreams – reality is far better than the dream ever was.

I can say the same thing about pastoring a church.  Before becoming a pastor, I would dream big dreams about what kind of pastor I was going to be.  I had big ideas that would change the world and impact eternity.  I would look with disdain at the things some pastors would do and think “when I have my own church I will never do that!”  I was going to be the perfect pastor and have perfect parishioners.  Then God gave me my own church and I quickly discovered that reality was way different than the dreams.  However, just like with being a parent, I can honestly say that reality has been far better than the dreams ever were.

Here are some of the differences between what I thought it would be like and reality: I never imagined that I would spend a significant portion of my time reading, studying, and writing.  I never really thought about how often Sunday morning comes around.  I never thought about how hard it can sometimes be to come up with fresh material week in and week out.  I never understood how scary it could be to be responsible for the spiritual well being of the people in my church and my community.  I never realized how you could be surrounded by people, yet still be lonely at times.  I also never realized how much fun it could be and how hard it really is.  It makes me think of the old Peace Corps slogan “The toughest job you’ll ever love.”

How about you – how were things different than what you expected when you first entered the ministry? Leave a comment below.

Today’s post was inspired by a post from Carlos Whittaker’s Ragamuffin Soul blog.  You can read his blog post by clicking here.