Reading time: 3 minutes Do you know the third verse of “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep”? You know about “I pray the Lord my soul to keep,” and probably the really creepy part about “If I should die before I wake.” (You don’t really teach your children to say that do you?) Anyway, the prayer continues, “If I should wake before I die, I pray the Lord to show me why!” That’s an excellent description of Christian Vocation. Luther’s understanding of vocation teaches us that we are all living out our callings from God in the numerous roles He has given us to fill day by day: disciple, spouse, child, parent, neighbor, citizen, employee, employer. What better way to start the day than a prayer for guidance in my vocation? Vocation has a special meaning for those called to full time service in the Church. Most of those reading this weekly blog are ordained or commissioned ministers in The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. The call to the Office of the Ministry and those offices auxiliary to it is an honor and privilege. It can be a source of great joy, but also a source of great stress and anxiety. We at Grace Place Wellness understand the stress and anxiety that often accompanies the ministry lifestyle. We share Dr. John Eckrich’s vision of healthy churches sharing the healing, restoring love of Jesus. And we know that healthy churches begin with healthy leaders. “Grace Place Wellness Nurtures Vitality and Joy in Ministry.” Where the Holy Spirit works His work of faith and wholeness, His fruit blossoms and grows, and that fruit is described, in part, as JOY! How sad it is when those serving in the greatest calling of all, the calling to share the good news of Jesus, tell us how rarely they experience the Lord’s gift of joy in their ministry. One survey of LCMS clergy indicated that only 30% of pastors “regularly” experienced joy in their work. The rest indicated it was seldom, rarely or never part of their life in ministry. If you are among those who are not finding joy in your ministry calling, there are a number of things I want you to know right now. First, I am praying for you and we at Grace Place Wellness are working for your wellbeing every day. And we’re not alone. I know for certain that this is the prayer of your District President and your Synodical President. They care deeply about your wellbeing as do so many of those whom you serve. It is the Lord’s wish that you would experience joy in your ministry. Second, God Himself is pleased with you. Even if you don’t recognize it very often, the work you do sharing the love of Christ is a holy, sacred offering of faith in His name, and it is a sweet fragrance to the Lord. Take a short pause right now to bask in His, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Finally, remember that you are making a difference. God’s Word changes lives and brings eternal hope and joy. I am praying that you will know the joy of ministry, just as others have experienced that joy because of you. Well done! Thanks for Reading Our ministry is made possible by the generous donations of people just like you. Click here to discover how simple it is to make your gift of any size to Grace Place Wellness. Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a major benefactor to sponsor a retreat in your area? Our President/CEO Randy Fauser would love to hear from you today!