The State of Things

I woke up this morning, in the wee small hours of the morning, and found my mind racing as it does often when this scenario plays out. If I’ve got a lot going on, it’s not unusual for me to find myself preoccupied by deep thoughts about what’s been happening during my days.

It’s been a strange week for me and there have been a number of things consuming my thoughts. One of my closest cousins lost her mother-in-law in a tragic accident. The details around the accident and some of the back story have caused me pause even more and I’ve spent more than a few minutes not just thinking but praying on it since I got the news.

The governor of my great state declared a state of emergency leading up to a rally causing the extremes on both sides of the political arena to react. Reactions had me scratching my head because it may have been the first time that people very close to me were getting caught up in the fray and getting hyped up about something that seemed perfectly reasonable to me.

This week, I got back to one of my loves: StrengthsFinders. Years ago, I went through training as a Strengths Communicator and I enjoy having one on one conversations with those who go through the assessment. In the busyness of life, I haven’t had as many opportunities to spend in conversations with others about it, but this week I was privileged to do it once again. It’s inspired me to schedule a seminar where I can present an overview to those who are interested along with some of the ministry partners that I work with.

I had dinner last night with some old friends. They’re friends that I still see separately, but it was the first time that we had all been together in a long time. One of those friends felt a burning desire to “get the band back together” and scheduled this dinner. It was great to catch up, to share about life, and to laugh a lot about some of the things that we all experienced together.

Funny thing is, this week seems fairly normal to me. My weeks are generally full of highs and lows, of both the heavy and the fun. I don’t know if it’s just me and life as a pastor or if this is pretty typical of everyone, but it can honestly get exhausting. The emotional toll that this kind of roller coaster can take on a person if they don’t find time to step away is excessive.

So what do I do? I choose to spend the day subbing for my middle child’s fifth grade class. Not exactly relaxing, but it’s an opportunity that I won’t always have, and one that I definitely want to seize.

Through it all, I’m reminded of the tagline of the faith community that I lead: where life and faith meet. Through the ups and downs, the highs and lows, one of the most important question that people ask is, “How do I get by?” Just because I’m a pastor doesn’t make me exempt from that question. The juxtaposition of life and faith is where I live and while it can feel like a jolt to the system and somewhat harsh at times, I don’t think there’s any other place that I would rather be.