I Don’t Know What Is Next!

I don’t know what’s next in my life. And I guess that’s kind of a funny statement to make since none of us really do.

If we could all be prophets then a lot of unpleasantness might possibly be avoided.

I wish I did, but I just don’t know what is next.

In an earlier blog I mentioned my identity crisis. And while that crisis is multi-faceted, I am still at a loss as to my identity as a preacher or non-preacher or ex-preacher. But before I scare my sweet Becki to death, I really have no desire to work with a local church as a paid preacher. I don’t think I could ever want to do that again.

With no disrespect to any of my preaching family or friends, local preaching is…

Tell you what, before I say anything else, before you read anything else, do us all a big favor. Call, email, tweet, write, iMessage your preacher (and or other church staff members as well) and thank them for putting up with and loving you in and through your craziness.

Yes. Your craziness.

You. Not the person behind you, but you. Nobody gets to say who me? with an innocent look on their face.

In my experience, many preachers know the reality of a disrupted and dysfunctional family life. And has at some point wanted to say “are you serious? You really want me to answer this? Do you know what it means to get a life? Can I please have some pressure free stress free time for me and my family?”

I’ll never forget the time I got a phone call from a church member who was looking for a phone number for somebody else. I was half asleep in my recliner and I reminded them of the brand new church directory hand delivered the day before. His response: “yeah, but it is outside in my truck and I don’t want to go get it, so can you go look it up for me?”

It’s funny now, but aggravating then.

My complaints not withstanding, don’t get me wrong. Some preachers can be complete and utter knuckleheads. (I know there were times I greatly resembled that remark–heck, I resemble that remark and I am not a preacher anymore)

However, in spite of the few bad apples, preachers are some of the the most loving, caring, and honorable people you will ever meet. And they will struggle and strive to serve you till the cows come home. Or not.

Can I get an Amen?

But your preacher, no matter how much he gets paid or how little you think he actually does (which is so much more than you can really imagine), gets tired, weary, discouraged, and sometimes depressed. Take the time to love on him or her as the case may be in your religious tradition.

That’s the part of preaching I cannot commit myself to. I would be living once again with no boundaries trying to care for everyone around me.

But this time, I refuse to put my new family under that same microscope, under that same pressure, and in that same fish bowl house.

Can’t do it.

Won’t do it.

I know all about never saying never, but this is one I doubt I’ll ever have to eat crow over.

But it does leave me with an identity problem of sorts.

I love communicating. One of my old college professors has told me that with this blog I may be doing my best ministry ever. I think it is supposed to be a compliment.

The truth is I want to write. I want to minister to hurting folks. I want to help people be the best they can. I want to see God high and lifted up in my life and the lives of others.

I know I am still wrestling with God–and like Jacob, I may walk (and minister) with a limp the rest of my life. But I can write with a limp and tell the hard, honest truth at the same time.

Faith isn’t supposed to always be easy.

I want to speak where I can and tell the story of redemption, I am beginning to really live. And like I said a minute ago, God and I will probably continue to have our struggles. But even in the struggle, good can be accomplished.

That is where I want to go in my journey back to faith. But to be honest, I don’t think I will ever be satisfied again with a faith that just is. Somehow, someway, God still keeps managing to stretch me.

Those are goals I am praying for.

In the meantime, I am going to do all I can to be the biggest, baddest, most successful real estate agent I can be. Becki and I will continue to walk and work together.

We are a good team!

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13 thoughts on “I Don’t Know What Is Next!

  1. I hate so much Les that you were so unappreciated as a minister of the Gospel. My husband preaches part-time for a small congregation. We get so much love&prayers that its down right “humbling”! Love&prayers to you.

  2. Amen. At times I miss being a preacher’s wife, but God has allowed me a new type of ministry to encourage and support preacher’s and their families. I have the unique experience of knowing both sides of the coin. I pray that God will continue to bless you on your journey. My prayers and love are with you and your family.

    Linda

  3. Blown away again…

    I can’t tell you anything, what you have gone through and still continue to go through, experience can only tell.

    What I can say is this:

    God chose me. God used me. God broke me. Now, I also learning to live again, For what? I don’t know. I just put one foot in front of the other…walk blind, can’t see…Faith is all I have left. Praise God. Last breathe.

    I hold on to him, when there is nothing left.

  4. I only know that when I read this, that LOVE is an amazing healer, that LIFE can continue through memories and that NO ONE will ever take away what is left of him. I am loving better and stronger because of his words – – I swallow hard, I cry reading the details, but I take his advice and better myself each day. He still has the power to heal, to tell, to share.. he is just not labeled “preacher” – simply “man”…

  5. Les, you are a good friend not because we got to know each other for a while when you were still here on the Gulf Cost but because of who you are.

    I would say the same thing if you just moved in next door to me and we talked over the fence for the first time this morning. To know you is to be a friend of yours. Whether you ever preach again is not the issue just keep being people’s friend! We (people) simply need someone who will be our friend; no judging, no strange standards to live up to, only a, “Hi Les. Have a good day!” friend that you know is just across the fence. Some day that friend across the fence will likely say something like, “Les, do you have a minute to talk?” At that moment you will be the friend that I know and often need and at that moment God will be tapping you on the shoulder saying something like, “Be yourself and do what you do best, love this neighbor.”
    Love you Les!

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