It's spring break, and I've made it a point to touch base with some friends I haven't seen in a very long time. A few nights ago, Duane and I had dinner with a couple who used to be on staff with us at the church.
I often wonder how people with young kids navigate the demands of full-time ministry with its late nights and 24-7 on-call status.
Our friends decided that they just couldn't do it, that God was moving them in a different direction.
They still serve God through a local church, but they don't get paid for it anymore.
I mentioned Good Friday services, and my friend told me how much she loved walking into church on Good Friday and being just being able to worship. She loves going to outreaches that she isn't responsible for putting together. She attends any service she wants because there are no requirements.
Sometimes that sounds appealing, to be honest. I'm only the pastor's wife, but sometimes getting ready for church events distracts me from actually entering into church activities and enjoying them. Did this get done? What about that? Do we have candles? Should I attend this? What about that?
Sometimes the distractions of ministry get in the way of worship; they get in the way of remembering who God is and what he has done in our lives. They get in the way of relationships with God and with other people.
Duane and I talked about this as we drove away, and we came to the conclusion that there are plenty of distractions, no matter what jobs we have, that our distractions have nothing to do with his role as pastor.
Before we entered full-time ministry, we didn't always take time for our kids, for friends, or for God. And after I left full-time ministry to return to school, I still didn't always take time for my kids, for friends, or for God.
We can be distracted by the dishes in the sink. The spots on the carpet. The need to grade papers. Television. Relationship issues. Sickness. Crying children. Sunshine. Rain. Car problems. Checking accounts.
There are more distractions than I can list.
These distractions can get in the way of remembering the cross, directly and indirectly.
Right now I have three stacks of papers upstairs. I have a side project. I'm concerned about some friends. I need to shop for dinner on Sunday and clean the house. I need to blow dry my hair. We're going to the ballgame this afternoon. None of this has anything to do with Duane being on staff, and all of it distracts me from things that matter more.
Remember the cross? What cross?
It's no wonder we have a tendency to forget Jesus and all that he has done.