I spoke on Humility last week at church.
God chose to use that as a springboard to teach me humility. You see, here is a brokenness that almost all pastors have…and certainly, that I deal with from time to time, and that is the brokenness I call “Attendance Validation.” It means that, as a pastor, you are actually validated as a human being if the attendance in your church is strong and growing. If the attendance in your church has plateaued or is declining, you really have no purpose in life, and you might as well make an end of it. The Samauri call this hari-cari or seppuku, but some pastors I know perform emotional self-disembowelment every Monday morning.
The problem with serving at a church in the Northwest is this: the weather freaks people out. A lot. It rains a good amount, and rain freaks people out which makes their cars only drive as far as Starbucks. Occasionally it’s nice on a weekend, and it freaks people out and they scatter to the mountains, which they can suddenly see for a change. But it also happens, from time to time, that it snows, and when it snows here, people lose their minds.
They buy up ALL the gas at the gas station for their generators. You can’t find a BBQ lighter for sale in the state, people buy them by the gross. If we had bunkers, everyone would be hiding in them, as if was RED SNOW, with high radiation levels. Here is a true story…when it begins snowing people abandon their cars on the side of the road and walk home. I’m not making this up. It is an M. Night Shyamalan dream.
Back to my point: It snowed this weekend. It snowed last weekend. Attendance at my church was affected. (That’s the politically correct way to state things.)
I’ve been humbled. It’s a lesson I learn with some regularity…
So Jesus, I know my validation doesn’t come from attendance, but that it comes from who YOU say that I am. My value comes from the worth that YOU ascribe to me…and since worth is determined by what someone is willing to pay…and since you gave your LIFE for me on the cross…I have to conclude that my worth to you is priceless. THANK you, Jesus, for re-teaching a fundamental truth. I love the liberation that your truths bring…and…and...
I’m pretty sure I’ve been humbled enough, Lord.
So…maybe it could just be cloudy next weekend.
With a slight chance of no weather. Amen.