I don’t love the rampant consumerism that treats God as a product to be marketed…I don’t love the competitive spirit that treats others as rivals and even as enemies. The cultural conditions in which I am immersed require, at least for me, a kind of fierce vigilance to guard my vocation from these cultural pollutants so dangerously toxic to persons who want to follow Jesus in the way that he is Jesus.
Eugene Peterson, The Pastor.
Hmmm, what does an appropriate vigilance for my vocation or yours actually look like? Have we been getting sucked into treating God as a product to be marketed? Have we started to measure success by the numbers in our churches? Have we begun to treat other churches or other Christians as rivals?
Those questions are not always easy ones to answer. We are, after all, not always the best-placed to discern the depths of our own souls. But reading Peterson last month has been helpful to me in highlighting some of the places in my own thinking and behaviour where cultural pollutants have begun to impinge on my vocation, a word which in its very essence denotes my having-been-called, not by myself or by the culture but by the Most High God.
I may say this many times yet but buy this book and read it if you are in pastoral ministry. And actually, even if you are not. I think you will enjoy it and hear God speak to you through it.