But I would love to tell my younger self a few things about pastoral ministry. I’ve been in this for more than 28 years. Over the decades, I’ve learned some things I wish I would have known as a freshman pastor.
You and I? We would be running the numbers way back. We would see how big the mountain was, how insurmountable the task promised to be. We would compare the pain of love against the relative worthiness of the ones to be loved and think, This is not a favorable scenario. The odds are stacked against us. To love anyone that much hardly seems worth it. I mean, we’d inconvenience ourselves a little, maybe a lot for someone who really deserves it. But die to ourselves? Take up our cross? The risks outweigh the benefits. That kind of love is a liability. Or so it seems to the mind set on self-fulfillment, on the screenplayed romance of “you complete me”-ology.
Working in publishing, we encounter plagiarism often. Being friends with a number of writers and authors we sadly find too many opportunities to commiserate about it. Plagiarism is a problem, a sweeping-all-over-the-internet-this-is-what-happens-when-everyone-thinks-they-should-be-a-prolific-writer problem. It costs writers, readers, and plagiarists more than anyone realizes. It cheapens and dilutes creativity and wisdom. It reduces appreciation for the work of good writers and reduces their satisfaction in doing good work. What follows are some observations I’ve been thinking about regarding plagiarism and plagiarists.
I wish as a culture, we understood what happens in those four walls when two adults decide to sacrifice for one another, be good stewards of their money, welcome in guests, and raise a generation to know the heritage of the Lord. I wish we called it more than a contract, an agreement, or even a commitment to vows. I wish we called it holy, beautiful, other-worldly.
Most nights I fall blissfully into sleep lulled only by the din of Parks and Rec, but every few weeks I pray and it hits me: this might be the last time I get to hear her breathe, the last time I get to gently kiss her forehead and say, “I love you.”