I've said it before and I'll say it again- one of the hardest parts of the whole pastoral gig for me is the never-ending on the job training when real lives, real families and real futures are at stake.
Sitting with a couple in distress, wanting desperately to turn one heart towards the other, trying various tacks, seeing some movement, but not early enough, wondering... did one conversation change a little boy's life because it failed to change an adult's mind/heart?
Ahh... look at me putting on my Holy Spirit hat.
And yet, the idea that my choices and skills (or lack thereof) don't matter... can't quite get there either.
The choice to try to move from emotion to insight is a big one and the timing matters.
And like I say, I hate the fact that you learn how to do this gig right by doing it wrong... again and again.