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Thursday, November 17, 2005

As Good As It Gets...

In the movie bearing the same title, the main character steps into a lobby of a psychiatrist's office and blurts out to the waiting patients, "What if this is as good as it gets?' The question leaves many in the lobby haunted as he walks on.

This week, I had the opportunity to meet with quite a few other pastors. As I sat in the room, I realized some things. I am one of the youngest guys in the room. Our church is probably one of the smallest churches represented. My responsibilities are probably some of the least of anyone else in the room.

As I looked around the room, the question crossed my mind, "Is this as good as it gets?"

My life is simple.--While most may not describe life with three children, ages three and under, as the simple life, it's not exactly complex either. There's a lot of energy, a lot of diapers, and a lack of sleep. But it's not complicated. I tell my kids, "I love you," and they answer back the same. (Well, except Kari, but I'm sure that drool coming out of her mouth is intended to express her affections.) Some days, I get the emense pleasure of saying, "I love you too!" as one of our kids has initiated the conversation. If I want a hug, a kiss, a wrestling partner...they are right there. They still think Charity and I are pretty cool.

My ministry is simple.--I love the guys I get to work with. I love the students in our youth group. I've got an incredible job with tons of freedom, with students who love the Lord. I even get to preach quite a bit. Our church is at a wonderful phase. We're big enough to dream big, but small enough to not be bogged down by a lot of things that can get in the way of ministry.

I looked at these guys around the room. All of them successful pastors. Most of them further along in life than me. I looked around the room and I wasn't envious at all. It is by the grace of God that I have experienced what I have at this point. It is totally within His right to take any and all of it away from me. I sat there in the room and the thought crossed my mind, that "this may be as good as it gets." It could all be taken away.

Unlike the characters in the movie, the thought made me warm inside. If this is the summit, it's reached higher than I ever imagined. If this is the best, it's more than I deserve. If this is "it," it is more than I think anyone else has ever experienced. If this is as good as it gets, God has indeed been good to me.

He alone is good. And I'm thrilled that He's shared it with me.

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