I’ve been on a few plane rides lately. Depending on the size of the plane, I often try to get the emergency exit row seats. I’m a little tall for the ever-shrinking standard issue airplane seat.
Inevitably, the flight attendant walks through the emergency row procedure with each of the folks seated there. If you’ve sat in one of these rows before, you know what I’m talking about.
Today as I first nodded my head and then gave the required verbal “yes,” I sensed a little nudge from the Holy Spirit. I began to think about the increased responsibility that goes with the additional leg room of the emergency exit row. Like all the other passengers, I paid a fare and chose a seat. Unlike most of the other passengers, I said yes to an added responsibility. I agreed to assist those around me in the event of an emergency.
Isn’t that a bit like being a pastor? Each of us has answered the call to salvation, but those of us who are pastors have said yes to an additional responsibility—an added role. We have answered the call to lead…to pastor. We have said “Yes!” to the call to assist those around us. We have agreed to keep a level head in the midst of an emergency and serve the people under our care. Each time we stand before God’s people to teach or preach or sit bit the hospital bed of an ailing parishioner; each time we listen intently and offer wise counsel or offer prayers for healing and help; every time we stay up all night praying or engage that difficult conversation, we are saying “Yes” to the responsibilities that go along with our “seat on the plane,” so to speak.
Again this morning, as the flight attendant finished the required speech and I acknowledged my responsibility in the emergency exit row, I whispered another “Yes,” this one to our Heavenly Father who called me to shepherd his flock. How about you? Is you answer still “Yes!” to the call of God? I pray it is.
We’ll be considering our call and our responsibilities in our upcoming Pastor and Spouse Retreat. I hope you can make plans to attend. We’ll have a wonderful time getting to know one another and seeking God for direction and strength.
Looking forward to seeing you soon