Friday, May 27, 2022

Rev. Klockers: May discernment lead you to the right place: love

| October 28, 2021 1:00 AM

Part of my calling as a pastor is to help people in their process of discernment. This often begins when a person comes into my office or gives me a phone call. We talk about things and pray.

Occasionally, there will be a need for us to meet more than once about a particular issue. This might extend to two or three visits. In my mind, care beyond that point may require a referral to a certified therapist.

I have a master’s degree, but my specialty is the Bible, pastoral care, parish dynamics and theology, and not psychology or psychiatry. It is good for me to know my place and limitations.

I have found the internet to be wonderful thing. It helps me quickly gain knowledge through resources that are easily accessible.

In contrast, years ago, I was heavily dependent upon use of the local public library. If the local library didn’t have a certain book on their shelves, they would order it for me from another branch. These were often reference books. They were usually expensive and not allowed to be taken home.

Once they arrived, I was notified. I would then travel to the library and look at them there. They were trusted and reliable sources. I would make notes, and then leave them with the librarian. She or he would then send them back.

I found that they were usually worth the wait.

My, how times have changed. So, yes, we do appreciate the convenience of the internet. However, there are some obvious downsides.

No longer do we have to wait days for reference books to arrive at the library. We can now access information instantly.

However, we are now faced with an overwhelming amount of information. The challenge is that we often need to slow down to vet things, but many do not bother. As a result, much information is passed on too quickly that is not credible or is actually designed to misinform.

The internet has spawned many “experts” whose expertise may have been derived through social media.

1 Corinthians 14:26 says, “What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.”

So, please come into my vicarious office for a moment and take a seat.

I may have a degree, but I’m not qualified to tell you what to do. You need to discern this for yourself.

I wish we could hunger and thirst for things that would be helpful to others.

For me, this takes the intentionality of slowing down, questioning voices that say just the opposite, and perhaps doing research with just the right resources.

The world needs more people to become experts in caring and building people up more than anything else. Look around and see for yourself. No matter what others tell you, we are in a world of hurt and need assistance.

So please, discern make up your own mind.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

Will you be such a person?

Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Moses Lake and has served as parish pastor for more than 30 years.