When God called Moses up the mountain to give him the Law, the Israelites were so afraid of the holiness of God that they asked Him not to talk to them directly again. God heard their prayers.

Now the entire non-human world is silent. We told God, like we tell a child who is annoying us, to shut up and go to his room. He heard our prayer. After these many centuries, we are bored and fitful with the unrelieved pattern of human speech. Even our scientists, who earlier seemed to be the most determined of all to confine speech to the human, are trying to teach chimpanzees to talk, decipher the language of whales, and listen for messages from some distant star (Peterson, 1993).

From The Pastor’s Justification:

Young men, be teachable. You do not know everything. And your theology and your position are never licenses for authoritarianism. If you don’t want others to look down on your youth, don’t look down on their age.

At conferences and other speaking engagements I often meet young men in the ministry who say things like, “I’m in a church where the gospel isn’t important.” They are looking for advice. “How do I,” they want to know, “as an assistant or intern, influence my pastor or elder board toward more faithful gospel-centrality?” The first steps are these: be submissive, be humble, be subject to your elders, and listen more than you talk. Your pastor may not be as gospel-centered as you’d like, but if he is a Christian who’s been pastoring for a while, he still possesses a wisdom that will benefit you greatly.

He came to the office with a different look on his face, a 19-year old discipleship group leader who hasn’t been in church for months. I knew why he kept his distance. His brother told me.

“We ended our relationship last Monday,” he said, a pained smile painted on his face. “It wasn’t right, we’re just kids, I’d like to pursue God and a life of holiness. She wants that too. There was no other way. But I just feel so terrible, like I dragged her into something wrong.”

From Peterson’s book The Contemplative Pastor:

The word busy is a symptom not of commitment but of betrayal. It is not devotion but defection. The adjective busy set as a modifier to pastor should sound to our ears like adulterous to characterize a wife or embezzling to describe a banker. It is an outrageous scandal, a blasphemous affront.

I (and most pastors, I believe) become busy for two reasons; both are ignoble.