Sometimes you're the windshield...

Another day in tribute to my old friend Ray Swartzback - my seminary mentor
in urban ministry - who almost never failed to say to me: This job is an emotional roller coaster. Damn was he ever telling the truth! At least once a week somebody presents themselves to me as smarter than Jesus. Same thing is true for those who come into my life as the living embodiment of humility and grace. Throw in a wonderful staff in all their humanity - the challenge of renewing a church in the 21st century - and the worries we all have about making ends meet and Swartzy's aphorism needs to be enshrined on the wall of my church study: THIS JOB IS AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER.

Let's see, in addition to the various pastoral visits of this week, I received news that one of my dearest friend's daughters is dying a hard and tragic death too young - was invited to be a part of an inter-faith youth summit grounded in the Abrahamic faiths - planned a film night with a colleague for LGBTQ youth - reworked the appointments in the Sanctuary - ran a music practice for our August 17th fundraiser for a local environmental group - met with city officials about dual use possibilities for our building - followed up on an emerging Christian/Jewish study group into the origins of Israel and Palestine - worked on getting a small house meeting campaign moving in the congregation re: regional justice issues - studied scripture and prepared for Sunday worship - kept current with reading two contemporary theological books - reviewed the new work on our website redesign - recruited a few new people for my sabbatical implementation team - and met with a person who donated her car to a staff person because she is changing directions in ministry. There were ups and downs, insights and confusion, hurts and hugs, a few tears and a whole lot of trust that in the economy of the Lord this all has value. And that's just the professional side of the ledger, right?

Tonight, after a nap and a nice French Bordeaux, I'm quietly humming Mary Chapin Carpenter to myself...

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