Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sixteen Years of Guidance

For sixteen years I've had the same pastors.
Oddly enough I've lived in about five different locations during that stint.
It's not unlike having a wide-ranging circuit rider specifically assigned to you.
Those sixteen years have seen me through a range of problems. No very great ones to anyone else, perhaps, but being my own and the only ones I have to claim, I've made a great fuss over them.
My pastor and pastor's wife have more than babied me through these growing pangs.
In fact, if it weren't for them, I would likely be an embittered backslider or a socially dysfunctional misfit with a tic.
As it happens, I am a socially dysfunctional misfit, but I've not developed a tic, other than this odd twitching that grips me periodically.
Sincerely, were the church-going world at large aware of my pastors, they would envy me.
The two people who shepherd Devan and I, who are, of course, my parents, have been so much more than preacher and preacher's wife.
We are privileged in a unique and special way.
Spending the last third of my childhood as a preacher's kid produced none of the stereotypical angst associated with it.
In fact, considering my own somewhat fragile state at times, it's difficult to imagine my spiritual growth being nurtured and cultivated so attentively and tutorially by any other pastor in the world, some of whom obviously I have great respect for.
But none of them knew or could consider the complexities, the nuances, okay the weirdness of this particular parishioner.
I know at times they may have felt personally unsuited for the roles they play in mine and all their other past and present member's lives, but I would like them to know that the evidence is clear; God has equipped them for the job better than most.
The teaching and the preaching are forever sound, wholly and wonderfully biblical, faithful and compassionate.
I know a pastor's heart when I see one.
They are clearly called and they are just as clearly committed to carrying out that call and being found faithful in the overwhelming responsibility God has laid on them.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very humbling, but very, very much appreciated.

Love,
Mom & Dad

Jackie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie said...

Sound, biblical, faithful, and compassionate. There's no greater compliment you could give your pastors, especially your parents.

Chuck said...

Nathan,

Words, no, "apples of gold" for your parents...refreshing in a culture of blame.

I knew your folks (and you) when they lived in Duncan, OK. That was a longggggg time ago. Tell them I said "hello" and that I would love for them to make contact via email.

Chuck Goddard
chuckgoddard@suddenlink.net

Jennifer True said...

Well, now that I can see (blasted tears) I would like to say "Wow, I wish I had parents like that"...oh, wait, I do, and I totally agree with everything you said (especially the part about socially dysfunctional misfit). I am thankful for the 2 years they decided to be my pastors too. (Then they just up and moved).

Seriously, very nice, Nate!

And Mom and Dad, I can't say it like Nate does so I won't even try but thanks so much for all you have been to me as well. I appreciate the example you have been, I hope I can be half as good of a parent to my kids as you both were to me...after all, look how good I turned out :)