You know the cliche "practice what you preach"? When you are a preacher the practicing part can be overwhelming. There, I needed to say that - not in a nuanced, subtle sort of way, with a lot of commas and hyphens to explain it away. Too often, we hide behind our language, especially those of us that get paid to wield it artfully. Sometimes our deftness with words allows us to conceal the big, ugly truth. For me, the big-ugly is that this work is harder than I thought. No wait, it's actually too hard for me to do anymore without God.
Stronger men and women made it beyond than 7 Sundays. But that's all I had. Since December 4 I've been leading worship each week and writing a sermon. Along with worship preparation I also lead a small staff. Everything is new, which means everything takes at least 4x longer and requires 10x more energy. I'm aware that my standards are exact and high. I'm learning that they are also unfair. They are unfair to the people that work with me, to my family, and most importantly to me. An expectation of excellence absent humility is nothing more than an idol of perfectionism.
Yesterday in church I messed up the order of worship twice. I also messed up the date of our Wednesday lunch event. And if that wasn't messy enough, I also preached a messy sermon that I'm planning to triple delete from my hard drive in a few minutes. But why would I assume that God needs me to get it right first? There is nothing I can do to make God love me any more. I'm not a perfect pastor by the world's standards, and most days not by my own. But God looks at me and sees something worthy of all the love we withhold from ourselves. For me, this part of faith is the most difficult to accept.
Consequently, in an effort to get it right and prove that we're worthy of love, the mess that comes with being human is hidden away. But eventually our closet space will fill up. I can't afford a bigger house, or a maid anymore. So, I'm going to learn to love the one God gave me.