I want to thank everyone who took part in The Eric Trap blog tour over the last two weeks. Not only do I appreciate everyone who wrote a review or blog post but I also appreciate everyone who bought a book online @ Jim Wideman Ministries, Amazon, Orange or on Kindle. Orders are coming in everyday and I just ordered more books. If you still haven't made up your mind about this book here's just a little taste of what in store for you...
Friday, February 23, 9:07 p.m.
Eric pulled into his driveway and shifted his pale blue Ford Focustm into park. It was the end of a really long day, a day that he was supposed to have off. Quite honestly, Eric couldn’t remember the last time he hadn’t worked on a Friday. If he didn’t love the work so much, he might have resented having to work so hard. However, the pace he’d been going at for the past few months was starting to challenge his passion for the job.
With a detached look on his face, Eric gazed out the window. In his mind, he was recounting all of the previous events of his week. He searched for words to accurately describe all that had happened. Unreal? Sobering? Overwhelming? Seconds later, the emotional toll of the week caught up with Eric as he buried his face in his hands and wept. It was a lot; no, it was too much for him to bear.
He thought, If I were called to ministry, why does the most logical solution seem to be throwing in the towel? If this used to come so natural to me, why is it so hard now?
Never in his thirty-six years of life had he felt so much pressure and, at the same time, so inadequate. In his late twenties, he had been part of a thriving team at a start-up ad agency. He worked full time at the agency and volunteered whenever he could at New Hope Community Church as an elementary-boys’ small-group leader. He loved his job, but he dreamed of the day that he could work at the church full time. The moments he spent leading that small group of third-through-fifth-grade boys made his week. He was a natural, and he wanted to be able to devote 100 percent of his efforts to kids’ ministry.
So, ten years ago, when Eric got the offer to be New Hope’s first full-time children’s pastor, he was ecstatic. He made sure to seek sound advice and commit the offer to prayer and fasting first, but it quickly became clear to Eric that he had nothing to doubt. He was created for this job. He even found he could incorporate a lot of the skills he had learned from the ad agency into his new job. Success came quickly and naturally, but simply pastoring kids was a dream come true.
The church grew quickly, and Eric was stretched in areas he was unfamiliar with. Fortunately, he valued hard work. He wasn’t afraid to take on new challenges. Best of all, he always did what he had to do to get the job done.
However, things were different today. Very different.
Eric leaned into everything that came naturally to him, yet he still found he was coming up short. When he did what he was absolutely best at, he only encountered frustration. Something stopped working, and he just couldn’t figure out what it was.
Volunteers were walking away faster than he could recruit new ones. His pastor didn’t value what he valued. In fact, his pastor seemed to take the side of those who were against him. Ministry peers empathized with him, but their advice didn’t really comfort. Worst of all, Eric’s family was just hanging together by a strand. He was inadvertently hurting his children and his wife by issuing ultimatums, something he never imagined several years before. Everything seemed to be crumbling around him. No matter how much or how hard he worked, he couldn’t hold it all in place.
“If I’m doing everything right, why is everything falling apart?” Eric questioned. “Why do I just want to quit?”
Since everything had unraveled in the past week, Eric had spent the entire day by himself getting everything ready for the weekend. While doing the job of ten different people, he couldn’t shake the thoughts that bombarded his mind all throughout the day.
Is my time in ministry over? Should I begin looking again at ad agencies that are hiring? Will I find a better situation at another church?
All Eric knew was life could not continue the way it was going. Something had to give.
Eric sat in the driveway for a few more minutes gathering the nerve to go inside. He’d told Rebecca he was going to be home in thirty minutes, which was two hours ago. This wasn’t going to be pretty, especially after the big fight they’d just had.
Eric opened the door and wiped his eyes. Under his breath he muttered, “This isn’t how I imagined any of this.”
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