Not too long ago, I realized that I have logged in more than 25,000+ hours of sermon preparation and preaching within the last 20 years. On top of that, I have probably logged in more than 15,000+ hours of counseling sessions ever since HMCC of Ann Arbor got started in 1996.
As I was doing the calculations, I had to pause for a second. It is a bit striking to realize that a big chunk of my life has been dedicated to preparing and preaching sermons.
It is easy to think that after doing ministry for some time now, a person has finally “arrived.” But in many ways, I realized that I still have a long way to go. I am thankful for people who are further in the journey than me. As I look at their lives, I continue to be inspired to remain faithful in my calling.
Also, when I look back to my younger years in the ministry, I recognize that I do not have the same level of ability to pull several all-nighters in a row. My physical body is slowly telling me to pace myself for the long marathon of life.
I don’t know.
Maybe as I am slowly getting older, some wisdom is kicking in, and now, I am learning how to do ministry more effectively and reflectively. In my younger years, a lot of what I did was out of just pure passion and adrenaline. Even though I was able to get a lot of things done, I could have done things better.
This is a good reminder for me to keep on growing and to keep on learning as I get older. The generations are constantly changing and different aspects of ministry are expanding. If I stay stagnant or too satisfied in my comfort-zone then I will slowly deteriorate and become ineffective for Christ. I want to always stay hungry.
This is why when I saw this video, it made me think about the years of ministry that I was privileged to experience. The video is a Gatorade commercial where it depicts a 23 year old Michael Jordan playing against the 39 year old Michael Jordan in a game of 1-on-1.
Oh, what it would have been like if the 23 year old Jordan had the wisdom and the experience of the 39 year old Jordan.