Part of the stress I feel is coming from not being the "perfect" pastor. William Martin's The Art of Pastoring: Contemplative Reflections helps me remember that it's authenticity I seek, not perfection. Mistakes are part of being human.
"A minister of the Word has certain abilities:
the ability to gently return a noisy mind
to a quiet place of communion with God;
the ability to release tension from the body
and to remain supple and relaxed;
the ability to cleanse the soul
of accumulated negativity
so the pure light of God is undimmed;
the ability to lead the people in the parish
without needing them to behave as you see fit;
the ability to let even the most important events unfold
without worrying or tampering with the process;
the ability to detach from your own plans for the church
and see the grace of God unfold
in a gentle way.
And if you are truly among the wisest of pastors
you create a safe place for your people's creativity;
you guide without agenda;
and you enjoy all without possessing any."
"(These are not the kind of abilities usually found on a pastoral search committee's list of hiring criteria. You will have to develop a deep conviction that they are of value and stick to them when everyone else is clamoring for a piece of your flesh.)"
Detach....let it go...God's grace surrounds me...