Okay, this may be long so just read as far as you have time. Life has been very, very busy since Christmas, but should slow down to a trot for the next few weeks. I've spent every Saturday since Christmas except one doing something church or work related. I have one more Saturday that doesn't have church/work stuff between now and March 20. However, most of that stuff has/is/will result in exciting events. The Disabilities Ministry Symposium for the confernece is falling into place and my home church hospitality team has great plans cooking.
MY LIFE AS AN HYPOTENUSE.
I try to avoid triangling, but some how the rest of the world just doesn't seem to get it. I keep finding myself in triangles. I try to set boundaries and extract myself as often as possible. Not always possible or perhaps my boundaries are not always strong enough. Today I've been proofing a print job that is not for me. Proofing fell to me because I happen to have the original file on my computer and because the person wanting the print job is using his blackberry to check emails and can't look at the proof. arghhhh. Some how the fact that I'm working from home today because of the migraine meds doesn't seem to make a difference. This really is a triangle I need to do something about. I know I have big girl panties around here somewhere.
A couple of weeks ago I went for a fitness assessment at the Y. I could hardly move for the next three days. I haven't done a push up in years, much less 8! I learned pretty much what I already knew and a couple of good things too. My flexibility and strength are in the basement. However, I did pretty well on the cardio part. A whole year of cardio work has paid off! Now I have a new workout plan that includes strength and flexibility.
Meanwhile as I walked a mile to see how fast I could do it, I had time (more than 16 minutes) to think about this assessment in a theological way. The assessment measured cardio fitness, flexibility, strength, and how fast I could walk a mile. It seemed to me these might work for the spiritual discipline of self examination. How are my heart, flexibility, and strength of faith? I'm not sure how to work in the timed mile, but surely it will preach somehow.
MY ADVENTURE WITH THE BISHOP
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in Jacksonville, Florida riding in a car with our new bishop, his wife, and another conference staff person. We were headed for a specific seafood restaurant. We had the instructions, a printed google map and a GPS gadget. The bishop was driving and the other staffer was in the front seat navigating. When it came to deciding east or west on a particular street, we turned east as directed. However we were looking for a street number in the 1000 range and I was watching the numbers go up from 5000 to 6000. We started to turn around, but changed our minds. We went a little further east and still the numbers went up. We pulled into a parking lot and called the restaurant. Yes, they told us we needed to go east. When we asked about the numbers, they told us the restaurant is actually in Jacksonville Beach, Florida and the numbers start over at the city limit change. Aha. We had directions. We knew the restaurant was near the beach and the beach was to the east, but we let the signs distract us. I know this will preach sometime, somewhere.
While I was in Florida, I gained some real insight into my current appointment. I had trouble picking which breakout sessions to attend because my job description is rather nebulous. Basically for the last year, I have been bringing to fruition the events my boss envisioned in his efforts increase our support of local churches. We have offered a variety of trainings and one retreat. Some of what I attended was helpful to me, but some wasn't. Then on Sunday morning, a session I had wanted to skip so as to have more than 15 minutes at home before the next trip (another story), I had an "aha moment." The topic was helping churches create discipleship systems - something I've been interested in since I was on staff at my home church 5 years ago. I felt like I had come home. This is what my position is about - helping churches be more effective at making disciples! Finally, a clearer definition.
But wait there's more! If you have read my blog (here and here and here) you know that my ministry path has not gone at all the way I expected. I like being in the conference office, but I still struggle with wanting to pastor in a local church. As I listened to someone very high up in the General Board of Discipleship make his presentation, he said, "Folks, you know I love the local church. I know I'm called to be where I am, but if I was told to go back to the local church, I would run there." I felt like he was speaking my heart. At the next small group discussion time, I excused myself from the group and went to talk to the presenter. When I told him how his words spoke to me and for me he answered, "It is your love of the local church that makes you valuable in the conference office." Music to my ears, soothing to my soul. Exactly what I needed to hear and to be able to articulate when I go before the Board of Ordained Ministry for my annual check in April.
Well you know a lot more about my life than you did when you started reading this, and probably much more than you wanted to know. Thanks for letting me get all that out. That is if anyone actually read this far... Anyone.... out.....there???