We had a chance to spend some time with my friend/mentor, Elton, who is a church planter in San Jose, and he said something that stuck with me. He was telling me about someone he went to seminary with who took a job at a church that fell through. Stripped of his title of "pastor" and without a church, he was devastated, to the point of questioning his faith. Then he said, "if you peel back the layers of your life and at the core, it's not Jesus...well, then, you're basically screwed."
For myself, I have to wonder what's at the core sometimes...is it the hope of a successful pastoral career? Is it my wife? Is it my own need to control my life and circumstances, maybe even through religion? Is it the approval of family or friends or people I look up to? Or is it at the core, just being a child of God? Life is about peeling back the layers...if I don't do it, God will do it for me.