[BOOK REVIEW: The Runaway Pastor by David S. Hayes]
A friend’s book has been published recently. It is called Runaway Pastor. The writer’s name is David S. Hayes. I mentioned this book briefly in one of the previous posts about the books.
Although I am not a pastor myself, my mom is and so are a few of my friends. One of the main themes of the book, as I see it, is a reminder that pastors are also humans, just like all of us, “mere mortals” (i.e. the parish). We tend to forget that fact quite often (I know I am guilty of that) and, as a result, we set the standards higher for them.
“Why, he cannot have problems in his marriage – he’s a pastor, for God’s sake!”
“You know, I saw her arguing with someone, and it wasn’t in a loving way. How can she? She’s a pastor!”
Alternatively, other situations when we just view our pastors as people who are holy saints and “mistake-less” and wise beyond human wisdom… They are human. They make mistakes. and trying to live up to the standards that we set for them can sometimes lead to a burnout… because there’s the fear that if we, the parish will find out that they, the pastors, are not as perfect and angelic as we want them to be, we will be disappointed in them. Moreover, maybe the disappointment will be so big that we will be disappointed with God as well. Talk about pressure.
I am still struggling sometimes to remember that simple truth, yet I still keep expecting something MORE than there is. I am extremely thankful for my pastor, and he is an awesome blessing to me, but there are times when I create an image in my mind’s eye and when I realize that the image I’ve created is not what really is there, I get disappointed. Thankfully, God does open my eyes and shows that I have been wrong.
Besides pastors, I think the Runaway Pastor, although it has the word Pastor in it, it is about every one of us. Show me a person who never wanted to run away and hide? It all started with Adam and Eve – they hid from God (and would have hidden from other people if there were any, I think) and it all went downhill from then on.
I wanted simply to run away so many times. My ex-professor kept saying that those things we do not like in other people, we have ’em. That’s me. I do not like monks. Why? Because they did what I want to do so often. They ran away from the world.
Just the other day, I thought about running away. Not that I can complain about my life – everything is just wonderful, but the responsibility sometimes is staggering. When almost everyone in my Church knows me as a pastor’s kid (and, therefore, a “good girl”)… When there are friends for whom I am a role model (found that out on Friday – scared me…)… And all this while I am trying finally to understand WHO I AM. I do not want to lead a double life, I want to be myself, but sometimes I do not feel free to be myself because of all the expectations… and that is when I feel like Trent.
Runaway talks about those issues and if you’re a pastor or just a person who at least once wanted to give up, throw in the towel, and run away to start a new life… it’s a book to read.
There is a way out of this mess 🙂
Get the book here: AMAZON