What I Would Tell 30 Year Old Dave Rod'

What I Would Tell 30 Year Old Dave Rod'

Posted on February 11, 2020


As my time as Senior Pastor at Grace is coming to a close and I think over all of the memories I've made here, I have quite a few thoughts stirring around in this brain of mine. Here's what I'd like to go back and tell 30 year old Dave:

Pray more, sleep more, drink more water, eat less sugar, exercise, love others, let others love you, laugh, do fun things, start making bread, and get a dog.

And as you do all those things, look me in the eye and tell me that you will never forget these crucial pieces of advice:
Prepare yourself to live with a low-grade fever of sadness. God actually told me this once as I walked up and down a FL beach. For 3 days I walked and cried and prayed. I was done with ministry. Sick and tired of it. Mad. Furious. Wanting out. And as I prepared to leave that mini sabbatical God gave me this bizarrely encouraging warning. “If you stay in ministry you must prepare to live every day for the rest of your life with a low-grade fever of sadness.”

He reminded me that, as a pastor, I would face outrageous levels of human suffering and tragedy. That people, once close to me, would abandon me and the church. And that people, including I, would sin…sometimes in huge ways. And thereby cause me grievous disappointment. It was inevitable. Take it to the bank. Unavoidable. He then said…if you want out, now’s the time, and I won’t hold it against you if you bail.

I didn’t. And he was right. Every day since then I have lived with a low-grade fever of sadness. Every. Day. But, oddly, knowing it ahead of time has made it livable.

And speaking of calling, don’t allow yourself to serve out of duty, guilt or entitlement. Always and only serve out of a sense of destiny. You have a unique life story coupled with a unique personality, unique skill set and unique passions. All together they point to a peculiar calling and ultimate destiny.

Live with that sense of destiny and even through the low-grade fever of sadness, the defections, the accusations and the crises you’ll stay true to the north star placed in your sky before you were born.

Seriously. Don’t forget this. God put you here. And is sending you to your destiny. Oh. And make sure you send people to theirs.
Finally, always pray this prayer all the time and mean it “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.

The kingdom of God is not delayed. It is not for a future time. It is not the equivalent of heaven.It is in Jesus’ words “at hand”. God’s reign is now. And he is depending on you to send your people out, on mission, to do Kingdom work. Fight injustice. Heal pain. End isolation. Confront hatred. Care for the physical creation. And lead people to Jesus.

Make disciples who change the world, not converts who are waiting for soul rescue while they live for fat city.

That’s it.

Did I say, “get a dog”? You won’t but you should.

And…sigh…prepare yourself for the ride of your life. Get Dramamine.


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Posted by magret jolly on July 17, 2020 @ 2:28 am

You took time for me... a small church pastor struggling, burnt out. You shared your story of brokenness and I realized I wasn't the only one with the low grade fever. I have passed it on to other pastors and have seen as their eyes lit up realizing they were not alone. Thank you pastor Dave for being a pastor to me that day. Blessings on your journey!

Posted by Andrew Arrowood on March 2, 2020 @ 10:36 pm

Amen, Dave!!!!! Totally agree with your thoughts!! And I often these days have conversions in my head with “dear younger me” and try to share with my kids. Thanks for sharing your heart.And oh.........get the dog🐶❤️😊

Posted by Joni Kluth on February 16, 2020 @ 8:09 pm