Yesterday's reading was from chapter 24 "Heather-Scented Theology." He was reminiscing about an old pastor who had mentored him for a couple of years. Early on the older guy had broken his arm on a mountain horse-back ride. He told Eugene, "Those mountains are magnificent. But they have twenty different ways to kill you. Just like the church." That comment intrigued Eugene, so he asked if they could meet. And they did for two years until the older guy moved away.
Anyway, on p. 210 Peterson writes...
Was it realistic to think I could develop from a competitive pastor to something maybe more like a contemplative pastor - a pastor who was able to be with people without having an agenda for them, a pastor who was able to accept people just like they were and guide them gently and patiently into a mature life in Christ but not get in the way, let the Holy Spirit do the guiding?
Wow. Yes. Great question. And exactly what I want. Honestly, I don't know if it's possible. But this is how I want to be. I know that I am not there. But I'm trying. And this is what I'm striving for. I wish I were better. I wish it were easier. It's so hard to walk the line between 'raising the level of expectation for people' and "guiding gently and patiently." So hard. But hopefully possible. Someday.