I often find myself frustrated. I have been given very little. I have very little in terms of number of people in my congregation, very little in terms of my facilities, exceptionally little in terms of financial resources, and little in terms of other resources in my congregation and community.
I don’t want to have little, I want to have much. I want to have a resourceful congregation. I want to have a big and beautiful building that will make people want to stop in if nothing other than to see the facility. I want to have a church which has a large endowment so that I can have some sort of stability and that we can follow God’s leading without having to worry about from where the money for the electric bill will come. I want to have a community in which people want to live, and where people have jobs and some sort of stability.
I often find myself dissatisfied and think about moving on to somewhere else. This is one of the problems with our governance. I am not placed, I interview and accept a call, if offered. As such, it feels much like looking for secular employment. I decide where I want to apply to. I interview, if they like me, they will extend a call which I can decide whether or not to accept. While these procedures do have to pass through the regional assemblies, in practice, the bulk of the processes reflect secular employment. I have no term of service, I was not obviously placed here by the church.
Because of this, I feel like I can sometimes just leave and go to greener pastures. To those type of churches in which I always imagined I would pastor. However, this is not just dependent on me. I have to believe that God placed me where I am for a reason. I am a servant of the sanctuary, after all.
“‘Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much’” (Luke 16:10, NRSV).
This is a sobering verse.
A judgement, almost.
“Whoever is faithful in a very little…”
Perhaps it is not a mistake that I am here. Perhaps my desires have run rampant. Perhaps my desires for more, my desires for much are too much too soon. Perhaps I am not fit, at least right now, for much.
I find myself sometimes jealous of others who have much. This makes me want to search the parish openings, freshen up my profile, and try to move somewhere else with much.
Perhaps, however, I am not in the wrong place. Perhaps I am in precisely the right place. Perhaps what is wrong is my pining for more. Perhaps I desire more than I ought to. Perhaps I have little because that is all I can have now. Perhaps God is actually smarter than I, and knows that I am not yet ready for much. Perhaps I am being taught how to be faithful with little.
Please, O God, help me to be faithful with my very little, and banish my desire for much.