I have heard a lot of comments about the vocation of pastor. Light-hearted jesting comes from some while others are earnest in their misguided comments. They say things like:
* "Pastors only works two hours a week."
* "So pastor, what do you do the rest of the week....do you like have a real job?"
I try to take them all in stride. I know how much I invest into my calling of pastor and I know what it is to expend myself in manual labor. At least, I thought I did.
"Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a
burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you." (1 Thessalonians 2:9, NIV)
Yesterday was one of those special days when I worked with several others on a roofing job. When you aren't used to daily physical exertion and then try a 'weekend warrior' attempt at manual labor, one's body does revolt a little.
After about 6-8 hours on the roof, I drug my carcass home and immediately realized that someone had secretly increased the earth's gravitational pull. I was exhausted. I then considered the hard working women and men who call First UMC home. I thought of the times I have looked out during the service and seen folks drooping their heads and nodding off to sleep. I have seen folks wearily walk into the sanctuary and plop down in the pew. It might be the one time they have some time to do nothing. They may even savor their time away from the rat-race.
I have gained a new appreciation for those who work in labor intensive jobs and I salute you. To the women and men who walk all shift caring for patients in hospitals, I salute you. For those who care for residents at assisted living villages, I salute you. For those who do manual labor in carpentry, plumbing, electrical, painting, and other construction jobs, I salute you. For the folks who sit at a desk all day and those who work with the public, I salute you.
Your hard work may not be seen by everyone, but I know your devotion to the job and I salute you. After yesterday, I was tired. There is no debate about this. I can tell you the exhaustion I felt was a good and meaningful feeling. I was helping another family and I knew my labors were not in vain. We all want to say at the end of our day of work that we made a difference.
"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone
may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God." (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13, NIV)
Let's take our gift from God, work at it with diligence, and feel good at the end of the day!