The pressure to be a pastor is too great – sometimes there is a higher standard placed on pastors than the average Christian. In some ways, I welcome it because it comes with the ball game of leading God’s people. But on the other hand, I realized that whether we are a pastor or not, there are some ways that we just need to do a better job of being God’s witnesses.
Our family went to Chicago during the 4th of July weekend to spend some time together before I left for India. Christina and I heard of an incredible place for cold Korean noodle soup (in Korean it is called “Mul Naeng Myun”). Normally it is made out of buckwheat noodles but this one is made out of homemade arrowroot noodles. We decided to treat my parents out to this place.
The events that transpired when we got there were nothing short of a nightmare. We arrived around 5:40PM. We were waiting for a table but as soon I noticed that we were waiting not because there were no seat available but because of the lack of serving staff, we just decided to seat ourselves. We waited for a server to come to at least start off by giving us water, but to no avail we ended up serving ourselves. By the time the server took our order and the food came out it was 7:28PM. If you do the math, by the time we came in and got our food it was 1 hour and 48 minutes.
I was a bit upset to say the least. For those of you who know me and my perspective on service, you are probably asking a couple of questions: 1) Were the noodles that good that you were willing to wait almost 2 hours for them? 2) Did you get the meal for free? 3) Why didn’t you guys walk out?
The answers to the questions are: “decent,” “no” and “Christina had more authority on this one.”
I have a confession to make – instead of reading the situation correctly and being patient, I lost my cool. The people around us in the other tables thought I was going to kill someone. Christina was so upset at me that she said, “If you don’t like the service, go somewhere else by yourself and meet us afterwards.” I think I even stumbled my parents (and that is hard to do in light of all that they went through with trying to raise me). When the food finally came, I was at a crossroad – should we pray for the food? I realized that I just ruined my witness and if we prayed then I would have ruined the Christian witness. I wanted everyone to pray by themselves but then I would have lost credibility with my family. Oh, the dilemmas in life!
I finally decided to pray as the “pastor” representative. It was a humbling experience. Now I know why one of the fruit of the Spirit is patience. But I like the NKJV where it says, “long-suffering.” Ha!
God uses everything and anything to remind us that we still have a long way to go in being more like His Son.