I remember a big time pastor of a very cool church came to speak for us one time. I remember being in awe of his gifting as he walked through the green room. I wanted God to do something similar in my life! After the service, I overheard him asking my Pastor if he could take me out to coffee and start a mentorship relationship with me. I was crazy ecstatic!
Before he left, he told me we would meet for breakfast the very next morning before his flight. He gave me his number and told me where we would meet. That next morning, he sadly had to cancel. To make matters worse, he told me it was simply because he rarely had a free moment in his schedule. He wanted to take advantage of that rare free moment and just relax!
I was pretty hurt ,I won't lie. It was really hard not to think negatively of him from that point on. I never wanted to dishonor him, but I really struggled with processing what had happened.
But then, just a couple years into my own ministry life, I found myself doing the same thing to some of the guys our my ministry. I found myself wanting to take them out, but life would get busy. I’d forget to reach out, or I’d just have a lot more to do that day than I had thought. Meetings would run long. Metaphorical fires would come up out of nowhere and we'd have to devote all of our time to putting them out. As my role grew within our church, so would my to-do list.
Then I got married, and it became even harder to find pockets of time to take one of our guys out to coffee.
And one day, fresh off an apology to a friend for canceling our lunch, I remembered how unfair I was to that pastor. I let that one incident affect my viewpoint of him in such a negative way. Here I was in awe of his gift one moment, and then let one small incident ruin my viewpoint of him. I realized I needed to have the same grace for him that I hope our guys have for me!
What I didn't know then, but I know now, is that we get into trouble when we compare worlds. I realize now how tiny my world was back then. I was a part time youth pastor trying to get through college. I didn't have that many bills or that much responsibility. My schedule was pretty open because my world was pretty small.
But his world was massive. He is a father, a husband, lead pastor of his church, mentor to many, and one of God's anointed. He has to constantly be held to a much higher standard, and he’s being held to that standard by a pastor with an even bigger world than him.
Once my world started to grow, I started to realize how unfair I had been.
Truth be told, comparing worlds is never smart. Life looks a lot different over in their world. The Earth looks a lot different depending on how close you are to it. But remembering this doesn't come naturally to us. We tend to compare what someone is doing in their shoes to what we would do if we were in those same shoes, even though we aren't in those shoes. We tend to forget that our leader is accountable for far more than we are.
We forget that our parent is looking at a much bigger picture than we are.
We forget that our boss is responsible for the livelihood of many more than we are.
Don't compare worlds!
The world is more beautiful viewed through a lens of grace anyways.