A lot has happened since my last blog on May 2nd, both in life and ministry. I look forward to inching back into the surreal world of blogging soon to discuss some of how the Lord has led and instructed me in the midst of it.
For now, I wanted to share the pastoral wisdom of 18th century colonial leader, Cotton Mather, which I recently stumbled upon. My own experiences have proven it’s truth. Like it or not, you’re going to need two “heaps”:
It may not be amiss for you to have two heaps; a heap of unintelligibles and a heap of incurables.
You will meet with some unaccountable and some incomprehensible things, particularly in the conduct of many people. Throw them into your heap of unintelligibles; leave them there. Trouble your mind no further; hope the best or think no more about them.
You will meet with some unpersuadable people; no council, no reason, will do any thing upon the obstinate, especially as to the making of due submissions upon offences. Throw them into the heap of incurables; leave them there. And so do you go on, to do as you can, what you have to do.
Let not the crooked things that cannot be made straight, encumber you.
Now that’s wisdom with some shoe-leather from Mather’s Student and Preacher!
Personally, I prefer a clean lawn, free of leaves and any piles left behind. Pristine and green. But life on this side of Romans 8:21 is not like that. Until we “obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God,” there will remain unintelligble and incurable situations and, even (especially?)… people. Do what you can, pray as you must, but then “leave them there” and do not let what cannot be solved deter you from what can.
That’s priceless for a pastor – and I imagine for all of us who “desire a better country” (Heb 11:16). The grass won’t be truly green till we get there. Until then, you’ll need two heaps.