I was never offended. How could I be? After all, I was pastor of the best church any minister ever served. Even honored me as the only ‘pastor emeritus’ in the history of the church. The members voted me the first ever ‘Best Clergy on the Twin Harbors, Washington’. As honored as I’ve been, nevertheless, each weekly paycheck always had the same notation at the bottom left-hand corner–‘guest speaker’. For 14 years I was their ‘guest speaker’! Longest serving pastor…best clergy…emeritus! ‘Guest speaker’?
Psalm 39: 12–‘Hear my prayer, O Lord… For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers’. We’re all guests when it comes to this fleeting life. David says, ‘O Lord… let me know how fleeting I am! Behold… my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Surely a man goes about as a shadow!(Psalm 39: 5-6 ESV). Life wizzes by. Nothing of earth lasts forever. Fourteen years as pastor seems like a momentary shadow.
Leviticus 25:23–‘The land shall not be sold in perpetuity…For you are strangers and sojourners with me.’ 1 Chronicles 29:15–‘For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow…’ Hebrews 11: 13–‘These all died in faith… having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.’
See why I can’t be offended at being called ‘guest speaker’? Merely acknowledging that time will be short, passing quickly, making room for the next pastor, who will also be ‘guest speaker’. That’s what we all are in this life.
Make the most of what God gives you. The good we’ll experience here. Even better at times. But the best He reserves for later!
Lord, help us to make the most of our time. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.