This is Part 2 in a series of posts I'm writing on the issue of "Secrets". I encourage you to read Part 1 first. I'm praying the Lord opens your heart and eyes to anything in your life that's been kept hidden. It's time to bring it to light!
Since we're laying things out on the table, I thought I should come clean about a few other things. And while I can't actually speak for anyone else, I think I'm going to. Of course this won't be for everyone - there are some out there who've figured this out already and made peace with it. But not most of us. Most of us are walking around with the feeling that we're trying to win a role in a foreign film in a country where we don't even speak the language. And ironically, while it may feel that way to those of us carrying it, it can comes across as arrogance or snobbery to others. Or to use the word that has been tossed out on more than one occasion to describe me: You seem "Unapproachable". This SECRET that many of us are carrying - many of us who are called "Pastor" - is pretty simple: We do NOT know all the answers.
When I make this confession I should be more specific and clarify: When it comes to questions of faith - when it comes to every facet of theology, biblical interpretation, and church history - and when the issues, doubts, and conflicts arise within your heart or within the church - I do NOT know all the answers! And sometimes, as much as I want to live an honest, transparent, and humble life, I walk around and carry on as if I do. Let me be clear: I am VERY aware that I don't know it all. But there are times when the people who call you "Pastor" can make you feel like you're a little smarter, wiser, and more loaded with omniscience than we know to be true. [And of course there's also the irony that some of you reading this are probably thinking, "How in the world could he get that idea? I'm fully aware of how big of an idiot he is!" Ironic. I know.] Just the same, this is a disease of PRIDE. And I struggle and wrestle with my pride on a daily basis. But the important thing is, I continue the struggling and the wrestling. No, I don't know it all. But that's why there is not a day that goes by that I don't hunger and desire to draw near to God and be in His Word. I'm dead without it. I'm dead without Him!
I don't pray like I should either. More often than not, I feel ignorant and humbled in God's presence, pleading like Peter, "Lord, teach me how to pray!" And yes, I pray in my car. I pray over my children. I get down on my knees here in my office with the door closed and the world locked outside and I pray. But I don't do it enough. As Oswald Chambers wrote: "Prayer is not the preparation for the battle or for the greater work. It IS the battle! It IS the greater work!" And I don't just feel this way - like I need to pray more - because I'm a pastor and that's what pastors are supposed to do. I'm a child of God and there's no better place for me than to sit at His feet and seek His face. And if I'm being honest, I just don't do that enough.
No more secrets.