We recently bought a 60 year old house. Denise and I (along with our kids) love it but it’s got a never-ending list of things to be cleaned, fixed, replaced and restored. With this 60 year old house comes what seems to be 60 years of layers and layers of dirt and residue. I found this out when I borrowed a friends pressure washer and started my systematic attack of the moss, grime and grossness.
What I thought would take a couple hours turned into a full day. And I loved it.
There is something really rewarding about being an agent of change. It’s remarkable to watch layers of crud blast away with the power of the spray, revealing what “ought to be.” Swipe after swipe I was discovering the results of hard work, and enjoying the fruit of my labors as the steps, sidewalks, patio and curbing were given another chance to shine.
Oh, and lest you think it was all ‘whistling dixie,’ I have to mention that my back and neck hurt like a bugger today, and getting out of bed was a significant challenge! But all this pales in comparison to the power of the pressure washer and the product of a fresh new look.
And this is why I love pastoring.
I’ve been a Christian pastor for about 18 years and it has been full of ‘back-breaking’ work and ‘pain in the neck’ challenges. In surveys, year after year, pastoring ranks right up there as one of the hardest professions. I can concur. It’s a lot of work. Long hours, crisis-management, fundraising, people-pleasing, preaching, staffing, facilities, and not to mention, the profound spiritual dimensions. A number of times, I’ve contemplated other work (say, a barista at an espresso stand or selling Slurpies at 7-Eleven). But I always come back to the joy-filled results of pastoring.
I have the wonderful privilege of a bird-eye view to change. I’m talking about real, significant change. I get to be a part of something huge and life-changing. The Body of Christ is alive and making a considerable impact throughout the world, and I, by God’s grace, have been given the opportunity to watch it up close and personal. God has allowed me to operate one of His Kingdom Pressure Washers and assist in cleaning people up.
Messy marriages have been miraculously restored. Painful addictions have been shattered. Lost people are found. The shameful pasts that darken and dirty the souls of people have been cleaned by the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is so humbling. This is so amazing. I get to be a part of the greatest agency upon the planet: The Church. Together, with all God’s people, we focus the nozzle of the Water through the Word (Eph. 5:26) to wash away the grime of sin and shame.
This is hard work and I love it.