Happened to read this realistic perspective on pastoring by Charles Jefferson. How true yet how difficult to do it:
"The shepherd's work is a humble work; such it has been from the beginning and such it must be to the end. A man must come down to do it. A shepherd cannot shine. He cannot cut a figure. His work must be done in obscurity. The things which he does do not make interesting copy. His work calls for continuous self-effacement. It is a form of service which eats up a man's life. It makes a man old before his time. Every good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. If a man is dependent on the applause of the crowd, he ought never enter the ministry. The finest things a minister does are done out of sight, and never get reported. They are known to himself and one or two others, and to God. His joy is not that his success is being talked about on earth, but that his name is written in heaven. The shepherd in the East has no crowd to admire him. He lived alone with the sheep and the stars. His satisfactions were from within. The messengers of Christ must not expect bands of music to attend them on their way. Theirs is a humble, unpretentious, and often time unnoticed labor, but if it builds souls in righteousness it is more lasting than a stars. "
An anonymous writer vividly captured the essence of pastoral stewardship before the Lord with the following exhortation to do God's work God's way according to God's Word:
'Stick with your work. Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not stop to stone the devil's dogs; do not fool away your time chasing the devil's rabbits. Do your work. Let liars lie, let sectarians quarrel, let critics malign, let enemies accuse, let the devil do his worst; but see to it nothing hinders you from fulfilling with joy the work God has given you."
Keep at your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded and rejected, misunderstood, or assigned impure motives; you may be abused by foes, forsaken by friends, and despised and rejected of men. But see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being until at last you can say," I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do."
My little whispering to Abba Father:
Father, though it is extremely difficult to renounce my worldly view of pride and fame, I pray that You continue carve in me a shepherd heart, a shepherd mind and a sherpherd soul according to Your will in Your time. Help me not only be a listener but a doer of Your Word. (Luke 1:37 For nothing is impossible with God.) I pray that You continue keep the fires of religious life burning brightly in my heart and in the inmost core of my being. May I continue draw enlargement of heart, elevation of Spirt and adoring delight in You - the Maker and Savior. I believe strongly believe every soul seeking God honestly and earnestly find Him, and, in finding Him, finds the way to Him. Amen!