I don't know why it is, but as each day passes and Eternity continues inching towards becoming a concrete reality as opposed to just a church of the mind, I begin to feel the weight of it a little more and a little more.
And that's what's supposed to happen. But as I drove back from two fantastic meetings yesterday in Jefferson City (both of which could propel Eternity forward in huge ways), I had the opportunity to re-listen to this message from John Piper that he gave at Text and Context. In this message he gave 16 points on how his preaching is shaped by God and then 16 ways his pastoral ministry has shaped his preaching. My favorite was:
6. The suffering of my people has a huge impact on my preaching. It has driven me to think and pray and write and preach about the sovereignty of God in suffering over and over again for the past 28 years.
You really need to listen to the whole thing but as I listened I thought back over the last day and just really felt God working within me to say "I Want That For Eternity", "I Want That For Myself"!
I don't want to be another average pastor. I don't want to just have an average church. I don't want to have an average time in Jefferson City. I want a Christ-exalting, God-glorifying, sacrificial-living, radically-generous, totally loving, excellence seeking church and I so want Eternity to be the vehicle by which God's grace is poured out on Jefferson City and is transformed by a Jesus that most people there have never known.
That's what I want. That's what I pray. Father - please make me that kind of planter. Make me that kind of man. Make us that kind of church.