I read Monday’s with my Old Pastor: Sometimes all we Need is a Reminder from Someone who has Walked Before Us (kindle version) by Jose Luis Navajo a few months ago when I was in a really dry time spiritually and tired emotionally. It was perfect timing for me. It comes out this week, so that’s why I’m sharing my review of it.
In short, if you are feeling tired emotionally, dry spiritually. This is a book worth picking up. It follows the journey of a 30-something pastor who is tired, on the edge of burnout and quitting ministry and he spends every monday with his old pastor who is in his 80′s and retired from ministry. The book is simply the conversations they have. It is a fast and encouraging read, being able to peer into the hearts of two men who wrestle through faith, doubt, hurt, leadership and finding their way.
It is also a great look at the journey of getting older and what that means for our lives. All in all, this was a great book. Right now, it is at the top of my list of books for 2012.
Here are a few things that jumped out to me:
- To be called by God is, beyond any doubt, the highest vocation to which someone can aspire. But serving him implies entering a battle, and it is wise to remember that in a battle there are no soldiers without wounds.
- The darkest hour of the night is the one that comes just before the dawn, and that there is no winter – no matter how harsh and long it may seem – that doesn’t turn into a lush spring.
- Old age is like climbing a large mountain. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your sight becomes more free and the view more extensive and serene.
- Because the passage of time has caused me to understand that in every desert there is a cross that brings restoration. It’s only a question of looking for it and taking shelter in its shade.
- Living in the shade of the cross preserves not only one’s personal life but also one’s marriage.
- Life doesn’t start when you’re twenty, or when you’re forty. Life starts at calvary. And that’s where fruitful service begins as well. Let the cross be so present in you that it becomes your way of life and your rest.
- Only God exists, only God knows, only God is able…Only God is the true wise one.
- If God is not love, it’s not worth him existing.
- We who serve God often confuse success with victory.
- We are not involved in a business, but rather a war. And God loves his soldiers much more than the results.
- God is not focused on our productivity, but rather our life. He loves fellowship much more than production. He prefers to have friends over servants. God is more pleased to look on clean hands rather than full hands.
- Grace is love in action.
- Those who hurt you the most need God the most.
- The day we stop loving people is the day we stop serving them.
- Do not make changes during times of storm.
- The dark nights of the soul, the times of storms, the winds that shake us up…these are times when we must abide and trust, not make decisions.
- Not one decision made in the middle of the night will be a right one.
- Never give up, because those who give up in the middle of winter will never enjoy another spring.
- What we may consider unpleasant storms often are gusts of winds that redirect our ship to important ports that we never would have reached if we had had a pleasant crossing.
- For young people, death is a shipwreck, but for old people it is reaching port.
- A true winner is not someone who does not see difficulties, but rather one who is not frightened by them and does not retreat or turn back.
- When God erases something, it’s because he is going to write something new.
- Love your wife, and do it in such a manner that infidelity is not an option; and that the possibility of betraying her never enters your mind.
- In every marriage, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, the grounds for marriage.
- Taking care of your family is taking care of your church.
- To love is to find your own happiness in the happiness of another.
- If you want a healthy and solid church, do not focus on what astounds, but rather on what transforms.