Here’s a quick blog to remind us that October is Pastor Appreciation month. Frankly, it feels a tad weird to be writing this being that I am currently serving with my church as a pastor. But, it is important to understand that pastors also need pastoring, and I am very grateful to God for the pastors he has placed in my life along the way. As a matter of fact, I was blessed today with the opportunity to play some golf with one of those special pastors.
If you are wondering why there needs to be a specific, calendared time to honor and show appreciation to pastors, let me encourage you with these few words.
First of all, the desire to be appreciated is not absent in the hearts of pastors. They are just as encouraged and filled with joy as the next person when someone shares their appreciation for the work they do. Simply put, it just feels good to know someone is noticing your efforts and is thankful for your faithfulness to do your job well. Make no mistake, pastors’ motives behind their work is never to be about gaining the appreciation of men…but that doesn’t mean they have to shun genuine honor and appreciation when it is given.
Also, God is clear in his word that those who serve in the role of pastor should be shown appreciation and honor. 1 Timothy 5:17 says, “Let the elders (pastors) who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.” Yes, that does mean that pastors are instructed and expected to lead well. But, it also very plainly points to the role of all believers to show their pastors the honor and appreciation of which they are worthy.
In my time on this earth, it has been a real privilege to count several men who have pastored me. God has used these men to greatly influence my life, and to continually point me towards Him. They have served and lead well as pastors, and today I am praying God’s blessings on them, their families, and their ministries.
It was a few weeks ago, and I’m still kinda getting over it. This year I realized that I am one of the “old” fathers. My kids are growing up and looking at me differently than they did when their eyes seemed to light up every time I came through the door at the end of the day. My daughter still has a little of this in her, but it is definitely different than years before. I’m not sad, it is just a new reality of my current season of life. My goal is to embrace, love, and experience it for all it is worth.
This picture is me and my dad in ’92. There have been many changes since then. I’ve gone from a newly married man just beginning a new family with Kym to one of those “older” dads whose children are often referred to as “grown”. I usually shudder a bit when I hear it. Again, it’s not due to sadness or a desire to spurn the categorization of where life finds me. Mostly it’s just been a shock as I am slowly waking to this new realization.
So, what’s the big deal? Well, it really isn’t that big of a deal at all. When I look at this picture of me and my dad, I look at it with fondness. It reminds me of how much I love him and look up to him as one of my lifetime heroes. It’s been that way most of my life and even more so these days as I find myself doing the very things with my kiddos that he did with me.
However, I do remember a time when I didn’t look at my dad in that loving, respectful way. It was part of my growing and maturing that bent me towards independence. I looked at my dad with an eye of criticism; mostly thinking he was out of touch, out of style, and behind the times. Seriously, there were some short shorts with color-striped gray tube socks. It wasn’t a good look. Now, however, I find myself firmly in that stage of fatherhood. I know that I appear “dorky” at times and that my kiddos are having those same kind of thoughts more and more every day.
All-in-all I am completely okay with this and ready to see what God has in store for my family in the next few years to come. The main thing I have learned through this process of self realization, it is that time is fleeting. James 4:14 reminds us just how short life is- “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”
My son and daughter no longer fit in my lap and I can’t hold them as they fall asleep on my chest and drool on my shirt. Their days under our roof are fewer and fewer. My job is to grab each of those days, live them to the fullest, and attempt to impart as many tidbits of wisdom as I can. Even if I do so with my own fashion faux pas version of the gray tube socks with colored stripes.