I thoroughly enjoy watching a good NFL game. The competition. The human effort. THe athleticism. All these capture my imaginations and even allow me to actually think, ‘yeah, I could’ve done that’. Then reality sets in and I realize that they are ‘professionals’, tested and proven to have the skill and fortitude to endure. I am but an amateur.
It got me thinking about being a pastor. I am a professional. 20+ years of ministry experience in several different cultural contexts (Colorado, Minnesota, Chicago-land). I am not an amateur any longer.
But I wish I was.
Professionalism can breed an emotional disconnect when it comes to passion that has recently confronted this heart of mine. While at a gathering of other professionals, we were worshipping and praying together. And I found myself acting like a professional – a bit aloof in my praise and aloof in my heart toward experiencing God. But no one would know from the outside. But I knew. And I wanted to be an amateur.
I wrote in my journal that evening – “It is sad how professional I have become. Lord, move my heart. Let me worship you again with abandon, with hope, with emotion. Let me not by hopelessness and pessimism miss your presence!” Uh-huh. From a pastor this prayer was breathed. I long to be moved and engaged with my whole heart but the cares, the pains, the professionalism gives excuse for disengaging my spirit. And so for that I repent – and become an amateur – one who doesn’t think to have it all figured out – but with abandon seeks the Son and his Power to usher new life and hope into my inner soul!
There is truly no one like the Lord. Let me live like it matters!