The first time I ever heard Harold Taylor preach, I was in High school. I sat on the edge of my seat (literally) as he spoke from his heart right to mine. I remember like it was yesterday as he was talking about the ups and downs in the life of a minister.
He talked about the joyful occasions when you get to see a precious soul respond to the Lord’s invitation. Or the times when you experience the feeling of fulfillment and purpose when you are able to help a family through a time of crisis.
He spoke of times that are not so good. The times when your motives will be questioned, insults are hurled, and people who rarely are willing to put in any real work themselves criticize you because you don’t do things the “right” way.
But what I remember most about his talk was something he said at the end. He said that with all the ups and downs that come with being a preacher… “If I had one thousand lives to live, I would be a preacher in every one!” I have since heard several other great men of God make this claim.
Each time that I heard these claims, I would take a step back and say to myself “really?” in EVERY life? You wouldn’t just take one life to “live it up” trying to make as much money as you can, chasing the “dream?”
And then, I became a preacher…
I have, in my short ministry, had my fair share of ups. Where I felt un-touchable, successful, purposeful, useful, and fulfilled. I have also had my share of bone crushing lows. Where I felt as though the world around me was crashing down, where I questioned the faith that I had in so many things, and began to wonder… “Should I keep preaching?”
Sitting at home, in my favorite chair, on a Sunday evening, I reflect on those words by brother Harold Taylor and want to shout a hearty AMEN!
I sit here, mentally, physically, emotionally drained and exhausted. But so thankful that God has allowed me to be used as a servant in His kingdom. If I had one thousand lives to live… I would be a preacher in everyone!