His Own Coming Tragedy

“The job of president [read that “pastor”] is to cope with his own coming tragedy. No man can fulfill all the hopes that go with the office. His own strengths often undo him.” This is a sentence penned by Michael Novak in reference to our new president. It seems to apply to pastors, too. No matter how much God uses you, at the end of the day it could have been more. I think the farther you go in ministry, the more that occurs to you. What do you do with that awareness? I don’t think most pastors are ready for that to occur to them, and when it does, a dark night of the soul can set in. There are no “do overs.” And there comes a time where there are no more “do mores.” (pardon the grammar) What a people do with that sense is determinative for how they end, drained or eager, distraught or thankful. No matter what, get ready to cope with your own coming tragedy and cast yourself on the mercy of Christ. And this isn’t a word for pastors alone. We will all see what could have been, and I think that is a weight that can’t be carried without Christ.

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