Worthy of the Hardship

In the book I mentioned last week, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life, David Brooks writes: “We want to be involved in some important pursuit that involves hardship and is worthy of that hardship.” 
When I was in my late thirties and about ten years into pastoral ministry, I was already tired of it and was starting to think about what else I could be doing to make a living.  Pastoral ministry was involving hardship like time away from my kids, strain on my marriage, and 55 hour work weeks. The problem is that the pursuit involved hardship but I was not at all sure that the endeavor was worthy of hardship. The pettiness that went on in the church at times just exhausted me and I sometimes felt that I was wasting my time. 
Now, some twenty-five plus years later, I am still working at least 55 hours a week, I still would like to spend more time with my kids (and now granddaughter), and I would like to hang out with Karla more often. But now I know that this pursuit is worthy of the hardship. I believe that following the path of Jesus, sharing the grace of God, building the community of the church, and reaching out to the lost and the least is worthy of the hardship. 
How good it is to be in ministry together. It is an important pursuit that is worthy of the hardship.
If you would like to be a part of a discussion group on this engaging book by David Brooks, please let me know. 
Pastor Steve