Clergy are a strange sort. When things go well (read “well” as “the way I want,” or “as the community hopes” – this does not necessarily include “the way God has planned, before I stepped in and put my twist on it all,” which is part of the problem), when things go well I tend to praise the Lord. And I should. And when things go poorly (read “poorly” as “the way I didn’t want,” or “according to some other person’s planning/sabotaging,” or even “less-well-than-expected” – which usually means something about numbers), when things go poorly I tend to blame myself. And I should.
That’s not to say that God isn’t to blame when things don’t go my way, or that I’m not a part of the picture when things go my way. Perhaps, though, as I alluded to in my digression above, the problem is my defining of what constitutes things going well and things going poorly. Where does God enter the equation? So often, clergy can become so self-obsessed that they forget: is it forgetting that God belongs in the equation, or is it assuming that God’s in the equation without any intentional seeking of His will (afterall, if I’m involved then God’s will must be included)?
But for things to be going well, they must be going according to God’s will, not our own. For things to be going poorly, they must be going according to our own will, not God’s. We, who pray multiple times daily that God’s will be done – must we not also remember that for God’s will to be done, we must be willing to do it, with all of the lengthy discernment that is entailed? Let us seek His will above our own!