One of my favorite authors, Dallas Willard, famously says, “The happiest person in the church ought to be the pastor.” I have that quote on the wall in my study, right there in eyesight above my computer. I read it several times a day. I’m looking at it right now as I type this post.

“The happiest person in the church ought to be the pastor.”

Why should the preacher be the happiest person? It’s not because everybody treats him so well. It’s not because he’s so highly paid. It’s not because his wife is perfect or his kids are straight-A students with boy scout medals and scholarships. It’s not because he only works one hour a week. It’s not because he wields any power or influence, is respected in his community, or owns a great haircut and fashionable wardrobe.

Willard explains that the preacher is the happiest person in the church because he understands. He gets it. He knows it better than anybody. He sees the big picture. He recognizes the Truth. He’s fully aware of the ultimate realities.

The preacher understands that our God is good and faithful. He knows that Christ has redeemed us and delivered us from sin and slavery to death. He sees that our Lord is sovereign and reigns over all our circumstances. He’s totally convinced that God’s Holy Spirit lives inside us and empowers us to do great things. He recognizes that we’re all destined for a glorious eternity in the loving presence of God. He’s aware that little petty things — most all things, actually — don’t really matter in light of our salvation from God in Christ.

Wait a second…

…that’s you, too. Right?