The (Pastor’s) Journey

Mary Oliver’s poetry is life-giving.  I believe it can be especially life-giving for pastors.  We’re incurably committed to saving many souls.  We’re living out a messianic fantasy that we can change the world.  We beat ourselves up when we cannot fix or solve or cure or heal…and do it immediately.  We place an inordinate amount of weight on our “success.”  We compare and compete.  Our call to ministry, at times, is not even our own – it is our father’s, or our grandmother’s, or some youth pastor who saw something in us.  We’d barely recognize our own voice if we ever dared take the time to listen.

Enter Mary Oliver.  Feel the rest that comes with this invitation…     

One day you finally knew 
what you had to do, and began, 
though the voices around you 
kept shouting 
their bad advice—
though the whole house 
began to tremble 

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