Having just received my doctoral diploma in theology and a pastoral certificate, I am still lost as how to best use either. I have asked God for direction knowing that he has given me a number of skills and a couple of talents. Yet I haven’t a clear picture of the path I am meant to walk.
Faith and religion have always been separate issues for me and I have very little use for religion. The best I can say for it is that religion has caused the death (including Jesus’ death) of more people than any other reason in the history of mankind and without it there would be no mankind .
O. Henry would love this piece of irony had he thought of it
Faith on the other hand is all about God and what Be does in a person ‘s life. It is all unseen, yet known because there is no other explanation for why things happen.
That is how I came to have a degree in theology. It was the farthest thing from my mind until I sat down with my guidance counselor and we discovered I was nearly there.
But now that I have gotten there and gone beyond that …what am I supposed to do with it?
I have a friend who keeps telling me that my language is too rough and that I shouldn’t involve myself in course joking, etc. She says, “It’s not right for a pastor to talk like that.”
Yet that is exactly who I am! I am rough and tumble and I cuss and I engage in graphic jokes because that’s where I think people who need God the most live.
These are the same people who look at the pages of porno, lusting in their hearts and dirty movies, desiring things of this world and screw around with their neighbor ‘s wife or husband all the time. They go out and get drunk, fight and do other unspeakable things that I really don’t want to know much about.
It wasn’t all that long ago I was exactly like them and I could be just like them still if I hadn’t decided that I needed God more than the trappings of man. I’m not a pulpit pounder or an in-your-face evangelist.
Instead I am a fellow who just leads by example the best way I know how. Too me that means, sipping a beer in some seedy bar discussing, “titties, politics and God.”
It was Billy Joel who sang that being with the sinners is more fun than being with the Saints. On the surface that may look to be true but deeper down it’s the sinners who need the Word more than the Saints.
I can testify directly to that! Besides it was Jesus who said in Matthew 9:12, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” (NIV)
While I’m on a confession kick here, I also have a temper issue. I get real pissed off while driving. I dislike unsafe drivers and I will not hesitate to swear at them. I embarrass myself at times because I get so angry.
I also get very mad at the talking heads on the network news casts. I lose it when they present an opinion as if it were fact. That just ticks me off and I will say the foulest things at the box .
Again it’s embarrassing.
In time, I figure these things will get worked out. That is God ‘s job. Be changes people and I know I am somewhere on that lengthy list so I am not worrying too much about it .
I just hope Be finds the time and I happen to be listening at the moment Be decides to point out to me how I am supposed to use al.l this education he has given me.