"Today I purchased "Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic". An old, but fascinating little book. I am sure we will become good friends, and perhaps will become a much needed mentor (though one dare not trust Niebuhr to guide through theological waters).I find the emphasis on youth a bit humorous now, but I suppose I still agree with the main thrust of what I wrote back then.
As I begin to float the resumes out, I fear my motivation for the pastorate may not be pure. Certainly I feel a passion in my soul to make a difference for the Kingdom. But why am I concerned with making a difference? This seems to be driven more by my existentialist desire for personal meaning, or perhaps by a psychological desire for significance. Should I not be content with the all-consuming pursuit of God?
It seems that this pursuit of the presence of God is perhaps the most radical idea of all. It makes my 'attempts to change the world' (or even the realization of this dream) a child's pastime. While making a difference for the Kingdom is indeed a wonderful thing, experiencing God each moment is beyond comparison. Perhaps what I seek is the effect, not the cause. Has my desire for meaning and significance become my idol?
Yet, what irks me beyond measure is the arrogant and naive claim that a young man's desire to make a difference stems from his immaturity. This ignorant claim stems from the incorrect belief that passion is somehow equated with youth. What a wretched heresy this is. It seems clear that all healthy persons, regardless of age, have this desire. Only sickness deep within produces a passionless person. Now, there is such a thing as immaturity - this shouldn't be denied. No doubt it affects the youth's desire in this matter. It seems to me the only real problem here is that passion is misplaced. Passion is taken away from from God (the cause) and is placed on the desire to make a difference (the effect). Make no mistake - misplaced passion is just as much an idol as is worship of Baal or Astoreth. The youth misplaces his passion; the older cynic, however, has simply lost it. Yet both have fallen short of the beautiful pursuit of the majestic God. The youth worships an idol. The cynic worships his mind which sees (perceived) . Both fail to worship the Triune God."
Friday, October 30, 2009
Why do I want to serve God? - An old diary entry
Thumbing through some old posts I found this article (which was actually taken from an old diary of mine from several years ago, before I entered the ministry).