Last night I returned to the little house next to our church at about 9:00 p.m. and thought: I love being a pastor. I really love being a pastor.
Here's what I've gotten to do so far this week:
Lead worship, preach about Jesus being called to more than he had previously realized, and ask my congregation to what more each of them might be called ~
Visit with a woman struggling with new indignities that the aging process is foisting upon her ~
Visit with a woman dazed by the sudden death of her daughter (our secretary) ~
Spend hours putting together forms to meet the requirements of the bureaucratic processes of one of the churches with which we are affiliated ~
Spend an entire evening at a committee meeting to complete said forms, which provided an opportunity for several of us to articulate our understanding of and vision for our church and for me to float some ideas for the future ~
Take several long walks, which are more about prayer and sermon reflection than exercise ~
Have lunch with with the husband of our secretary, now a young widower of three weeks ~
Visit with a woman anticipating her reluctant move to a child's home for the winter ~
Visit with a woman who revealed a family history astonishingly like mine in its number and kinds of deaths and remarriages and relationships that defy any traditional family tree, which revelations led to some unexpected bonding ~
Meet with someone who is making the Spiritual Exercises ~
Think a lot about the Jesus who one week is healing a young girl he never even sees and the next is telling those closest to him to "take up your crosses" ~
Talk with several people in the midst of various medical tests and treatments, some whose news is good and others not so much ~
Spend an hour at a committee meeting in which we are nominating church leaders for next year, which gave me an opportunity to talk about the importance of "God equipping the called" in a small church in which many people have to wear several hats, and to lead a discussion of Jeremiah's call and the many dimensions of God's activity as God invites us into service.
It's been just about a year since that 24-hour-period during which I was both diagnosed with breast cancer and approved for ordination. Due to the former, I had little chance at the time to ponder the latter, but these days, I find that the reflection time I longed for last fall is finally upon me. More about that in a day or two, but for now:
This life is pretty much wonderful.