October 25, 2012 by cbbeard
This post is a little different than most of my posts, but I wanted to share something that was on my heart today.
This month I had the pleasure of eating lunch with my daughters at their school. They both received the honor of “Citizen of the Month” in their class, and part of the reward is a reception with parents, complete with certificates and cake. Even though they most likely gained their “good citizen” qualities from their mother, I was the one that got to eat lunch with them, since mom was teaching at her own school.
Today was the day I got to eat lunch with my youngest daughter. During lunch we had a discussion about some of the other students whose parents were unable to attend and who were allowed to invite a friend to join them instead. So I asked her, “Would you have rather had a friend join you than your dad?” She thought for a moment and decided that I was a slightly better choice than her friend for two reasons: 1. I brought her a chili cheese coney from Sonic; and 2. She got to hang out with daddy. But then, after the discussion continued she paused and said, “I’m so glad that you have a job that lets you do things like this, daddy.”
I loved hearing that from my daughter because ministry is one of those jobs that can take a toll on a family. My schedule isn’t always predictable, and since I’ve started working on my PhD to help me become a better leader and minister, my only real “time off” from week to week is Sunday after church. The pressure of being a preacher’s kid is certainly tough, and while I do my best to prevent the stress of ministry from affecting my household, I am not always successful.
But there are so many reasons to be thankful that God has called me to the role I serve. First, I get to raise my kids in the context of the greatest community on the face of the earth…the church. I get to show my kids how great the church was as God created it, the great aspects of the church today, and the potential the church has if we continually reform it to look more and more like God intended. I can teach my kids to love the church as much as I do. Second, in spite of my hectic and full schedule, I have flexibility. Today I had to postpone a staff meeting to eat lunch with my daughter, but my staff wouldn’t have it any other way. And even though I spend way more than 40 hours a week in preparation and execution of ministry, most days I’m still able to be at home when the school bus gets there.
My family may not have a normal life by most standards, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are blessed.