A short while ago, I read a friend's blog titled the same, and I began thinking, "Why do I do what I do?" Why am I Pastor? Why do I choose to endure all of the ups and downs given in this line of work? Why do I opt for a low wage? I am not the smartest guy in the room, but I could earn a little more with my knowledge and abilities.
Likewise, people have asked me over the years why I have chosen to serve in this profession. It's an odd profession. I am seen as a Pastor, a supposed 'Shepherd,' 'Leader of Men,' 'Spiritual Guide.' Others think of Pastors as aloof, antiquated, and judgmental.
Sometimes, I give an authentic answer to their question. Sometimes, I give them what I 'want' them to hear, and other times, I share what I 'think' they need or want. Rarely, however, do I answer with the truth of why I became a Pastor.
Yet, I have given much personal consideration to this question, pouring over the mystery and nature of this line of work. I have thought long and hard about the daily grind of serving a particular community in a particular place and time fraught with particular issues. Even when I ponder the 'what-could-have-beens,' such as law, teaching, or health - all noble professions and calls in their own right - and all professions at which I could have excelled, I know very well why I have chosen to do what I do.
I am always drawn back to the same truth about what I have experienced in my life AND I am always reminded of the same answer: Because I believe that the Good News of Jesus Christ must be proclaimed to the World. I have realized over the years that I cannot do anything else other than dedicate my life's work to this endeavor! Jeremiah 20:9 states, "But if I say, 'I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."
I cannot hold this in. It is a fire that shutters up my bones. I cannot imagine not (to use a double negative) sharing this Good News of freedom from sin and death to the whole world! The liberating power of Jesus Christ rescued me from death, sin, and quite honestly, myself. I trust that this power of liberation still works and still liberates, and I will dedicate my life to this work.
Please pray that when someone asks, "Ryan, Why do you do what you do?" I will have the STRENGTH and WISDOM to answer in the same way as Jeremiah: It's a FIRE shut up in my BONES!