That's how I'm feeling this morning. I'm heading back to the office one year minus one day from the day I preached for the call at St. Sociable. (First three posts... actually, last three posts, August 26, 26 and 25... from last August tell all about it). And... a lot has happened in a year.
Last year on this day, I was the preacher they hoped they might like. Today, I'm their pastor. I've gotten to baptize their kids and welcome them as members and marry them and stand at their sickbeds and over their graves. I've attended, oh, probably more than a hundred meetings with them, and done close to that many home communions. Last year all was hope and expectation. Today, all is "much to be done" and some measure of reality.
I still think there is a honeymoon aspect to our lives together, but maybe with a good match you still hear people saying they love you a year later. I'm not sure. This is my first practically permanent pastorate (they'll vote on that at some point), so I don't know exactly how these things go. But the feeling's mutual. Good friend MoreCows named her blog "You've Really Got to Love Your People," and that's a good mantra to carry around in the doings of my days.
So what gives? Why am I so... whiny today? I have been approaching the end of my vacation with funereal gloom. I feel bummed not to have more time. But, then, I went and re-read those posts from last August... remembered the delicious anticipation of the newness of the call. That was a wonderful thing to do. I feel again the joy of finding and being found, the thrill of being chosen. I am ready. Philippians 4:13 darling!!!
My prayer for today:
Author of all my blessings... my life, my loves, my children, my abilities, my call... Come upon me now. Fill me with the newness of each day, each challenge. Teach me to love my people. Teach me to meet the joys, the sorrows, the hornet's nests and the tastes of honey with equanimity and gratitude for it all. Grant me this one extraordinary privilege: that I may show, in some way, the enormity of your love. In your holy and unpronounceable name I pray. Amen.