Earlier this year Careercast.com measured factors such as income, stress level, physical demands, and hiring outlook to determine the best and worst careers. Top of the list was software engineer. Bottom of the list was lumberjack, presumably having something to do with the required shirt.

Clergy was 92 on the list.

You know what? That might not be a bad thing. In a way, it works to the church’s advantage that the pastorate isn’t a cushy job, or we’d have too many doing it for the wrong reasons.

Of course, sometimes it appears that some churches go out of their way to ensure this job isn’t easy. (“You keep him humble, Lord, and we’ll keep him poor. And if he should ever try to take a day off, we’ll send someone out looking for him.”)

The ministry isn’t an easy job, but it’s the best job in the world. That’s because everyday you have the chance to change history in advance. Every time you share Jesus, or pray with someone who is hurting, or work on a sermon, or plan a retreat, or counsel a couple, or even clean the church, you’re taking steps that can potentially make lives better forever.

Any of us could have pursued other options that would have required less and given more in return. I sometimes think about it, but not often. There are too many victories behind me to speculate on what might have been — too many glorious victories that overshadow those few defeats.

And there are so many victories yet to come. I could never consider changing directions now. More than any other time in my life, I can say the fields are white unto harvest. My biggest concern is how will I ever pursue every opportunity God has placed in my path?

This career we’ve chosen may be far from the top of the list, but I keep going back to that Dallas Holm song from the seventies: If I had it to do all over again, I’d serve Jesus every day of my life.

Can I get a witness?