I’ve come to believe that there is perhaps no virtue in our society that is lacking more than contentment. People (myself included) are perpetually dissatisfied, whether it has to do with their personal identity, their money and possessions, or their life situation. They are driven by a constant craving to be someone they are not, have something they do not, or be somewhere they are not.
It began a few days ago with an email from one of our professors, alerting some of us to Eugene Peterson’s recent interview with Jonathan Merritt. In it, Peterson was asked about his views regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage. When Peterson responded that he would have no problem performing a same-sex wedding, it sent shock waves throughout the Christian community.
It’s possible to continue the outward mechanics of life, but inwardly check out. Or worse still, give yourself over to soul-numbing sin. Both are common responses to what I call “soul-fatigue.” Soul-fatigue isn’t “I need another cup of coffee” fatigue. It’s “I don’t see a way forward” fatigue. And, eventually, we all experience it.
Conversations at the end of sermons can go many places. I have forgotten most, but a few stand out. I particularly remember one that took place some thirty years ago. I was just into my first Senior Pastorate, having worked my way through the ranks of Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor. I was still in the process of completing my Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, having acquired a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology degree. Nonetheless, I felt overwhelmed and woefully inadequate. I felt very much a novice at preaching, pastoral care, and board leadership.
As a woman called to teach the Word, I’m often looking for ministries or resources that better equip me to teach women. When I discover a good resource or get to be a part of a ministry that helps women handle the Bible well, I want to share! So I’m highlighting the Verity Fellowship, an excellent ministry in the Pacific Northwest geared towards women who minister the Word.