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Sometimes I think I’d be a good juggling clown in the circus. Why a juggler? Because my life consists of trying to juggle family, work, ministry, friends and self. Oh and don’’t forget time alone with God. Why the clown? Because I’m constantly dropping something and pretty soon it becomes a joke. In our busyness of juggling life’s demands let’s not forget the reasons we’re in this profession.

Honestly, why do we as pastors try so hard to do everything right? Are we acting out of personal expectations or what we think others expect of us? Do we sense that if we’’ve been called to change the world for Christ our own world should reflect what that means? Whatever the reason it’s pretty weighty. Whenever one of my kids does something I’m not proud of or I find out from my wife that there’’s a major glitch in our finances or someone lets me know that they’’d do my ministry differently I get this feeling that I’’ve failed God in some way.

Fortunately God shows up; or I should say I realize that I’ve left him out of the picture. So I get back in touch with his reality. Does he get on my case or bring me major guilt for what I’ve dropped? Is he grading me on my juggling skills? No. He’s standing there with open arms waiting for me to embrace him and experience his love, —again. In our busyness of juggling life’’s demands let’’s not forget the reasons we’’re in this profession. Our love for Jesus. His compelling love for us. Our desire to share that love with others. I think sometimes we need to stop comparing ourselves or our ministries to someone else stop looking for that new model that will take our church to a new level and stop expecting our family and personal business to be an ““ideal”” for others to see. Instead we need to reacquaint ourselves with the overwhelming love of Jesus.

We’ve heard —and even preached that his love is unconditional. His love isn’t dependent on how busy we are or how we perform. He doesn’’t withhold his love or influence through us just because we don’t measure up to those nebulous expectations that a pastor’s supposed to reach and maintain. Before we gear up for the following months and all that they entail we need to stop and spend a little more time loving him and loving others. Take time to express his love to your family without any of the usual expectations. Let your congregation know how much you love them no matter where they are in their spiritual journey. And thank God for all the things that aren’’t going quite the way you think they should realizing that God in his loving mercy is in control.

Perhaps we’ll see that our expectations of ourselves and others pale when it comes to experiencing the love of Jesus and expressing it to others.

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