Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 28, 2012

“If I could do it differently . . . .”

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Cleaning out some old files recently, I found at article I wrote in 1991.  In the article I was reflecting on the fact that I had been in ministry for 35 years.  I shared how I looked back and asked myself, “What would I do differently if I had the opportunity?”

As experience and maturity comes, we often think back on the past and say how we might have done some things differently.  In that article I shared what some other “older” pastors had named: preach without notes, be more patient, listen to the great men of God preach, spend more time with the family, never criticize a man of God, have more fellowship with other preachers, and not be away from the pulpit as often.

In that article, I shared what I would do differently as I looked back at the past 35 years.  As I read that article today, I realize after 56 years in ministry, I would have a long list, but I believe the top two are still the top two!  That article contained the following as the first and second on my list.   I affirm them even more today!

1. I would pray more. I would make prayer the priority of my ministry.  I would want to be known as the “praying preacher.”  I believe that a man of prayer will be the most effective pastor and church leader.  To truly be able to say to a congregation “thus saith the Lord . . . ” a pastor must spend much time with the Lord.  And a praying pastor will be privileged to be a part of a praying congregation who have witnessed and understand the power of prayer.

2. I would spend more time with my family.  Although God has blessed me with a loving and supportive family, I would seek to give more of myself to them.  I realize how much I have given of my life to others and missed so many family joys because I could not be with them.  Too often my schedule did not allow for family outings and times together.  I know now that some of the things that claimed my time would not have been greatly hurt, and my family would have greatly benefited . . . and certainly my life would have been even more enriched.  We have had great quality time . . . but I have missed that quantity of time.

Well, obviously I cannot relive my ministry.  And I do not live in any real regrets.  I only know that I would like to have done more of  praying and being with the family in the past years.  I have seen God do remarkable things in my life as a result of prayer, and I do rejoice in the wonderful unity, bonding, and blessings of our family.  God has been so good . . . one could hardly ask for more.  But, that may just be the reason I wish for more!

Unless you think I will quit with the above words, you are mistaken.  There is a word I want to share with you.  Those two things I mention . . . prayer and time with the family . . . have really nothing to do with being a minister.  I strongly believe they are two of the most important things for any member of a family.  Consider it in your  role as a family member — praying daily for one another and spending time together!  Your life will be strengthened!  Blessings unnumbered will be yours!

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.”  (Matthew 6:33)  ” . . . he hears the prayer of the righteous.”  (Proverbs 15:29)  ” The Lord . . . he blesses the home of the righteous.”  (Proverbs 3:33)



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