It was an amazing day at church this morning. It was Rally Day, the first day of Sunday School, the first day of a brand new Sunday School program at our church, with new teachers, a new curriculum, and a new style of teaching. It was Youth Sunday, an annual event where our teenagers plan and lead worship. It was the first day of a brand new youth ministry program. It was “Bring a Friend” Sunday, a new thing our Evangelism Committee tried. We even had an ice cream social after worship. And from what I saw, everything went great. It was an amazing day.
But I am miserable right now. Because here’s the truth: I made at least two mistakes this morning, and that’s all I can remember. Here’s the truth: the Dark Voice in my head is telling me right now: you should have known better. I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry for what I did wrong. I know rationally that these mistakes are minor, honestly. I know rationally that I can learn from them, and grow. But it doesn’t matter, not to the Dark Voice. Because all he hears are the mistakes. He paid no attention to what went well, because he was trolling all morning for missteps. He found two, and he’s also rummaging around in my memory now, trying to search for more. He’s encouraging me to check my email regularly to see if anybody is reaching out to me in anger or disappointment.
I recently read a post on Facebook about pastors and depression. It mentioned a whole bunch of ways in which pastors face stress, and are susceptible to depression. Things like long hours and high expectations; They seemed to all be accurate, but they missed a really important piece: some of us are susceptible to depression not because we’re pastors, but because that’s just part of our psychological makeup.
Sigh. This is the truth. It doesn’t matter what happens: the Dark Voice is always here.