begin again

It is what I do best, wake up, shower, dress, eat, and thus I begin again. This morning was no exception, except this morning began a little earlier. Awakened by a dream of creeping bugs, consciousness came quickly; and it was only after a clean sweep of the bed that I could begin what would amount to a three hour nap.

The real morning began in a physical and mental fog. Hazy from a long winter nap, I snapped at my wife and then quickly apologized. I pouted over the prospect of another day and another fifty cents. I am a minister, so a day and a dollar don't quite coincide.

My world is multi-faceted, divided between days and hours, roles and responsibilities. On Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday I am a run of the mill pastor with an office, a congregation, and clear set of responsibilities. On Tuesday and Thursday, I am a pastoral counselor and social worker, with two offices, a number of clients, and ample time for creative activities.

Back to that fog… it happens every so often, I wake up and the world seems dark, deep, and formless. The last thing I want to do is “be pastoral.” Thankfully, my vocation teaches me to compartmentalize my life in order to be available to the quandaries of others around me.

After a stiff cup of coffee, my fog begins to lift. Memories of creepy bugs seem distant, and the sun rises on my internal landscape; and none to soon, this is supervision morning. In my world, I am still a green therapist, intermediate by some terms, experienced but still unsure, mature with a long journey ahead. So, I am supervised.

At 8 AM, I get to play supervisor with a colleague, this is always a learning experience, much like painting a picture with someone standing over your shoulder. Then from 9 AM to 11 AM, I am the project. Two hours of “growth opportunities,” time spent examining my work and my state of being. It is generally a positive time, always challenging, and rarely comfortable.

By 11:15, I have called my wife and left a message apologizing for my abruptness and thanking her for her grace. Then I am off, holing myself in an office, adhering to the disjointed life of a therapist who does good work, but is not well known. I will be home by 8 PM, when the last client leaves…

Life, though, is more than seemingly mundane experiences and time schedules. For me, it is about experiencing the holy in the middle of hell, the sacred in the midst of the shitty. I am not a pastor who sugar coats the pain in this world. I don't believe faith is a magic bullet we can hide behind. The journeys that we undertake in life are filled with potholes, dead ends, and construction zones, but as long as we can muster the courage to keep moving, the journey continues.

Most days, I struggle with what it means to be a pastor, a guide, or a shepherd in a world where religion has become a vacuous attempt to entertain the masses. I long for depth, meaning, and authenticity to find their places in our lives, but worry that in a world where microwaves work too slowly that that time may never come...

Observations, experiences, and questions, that is what I am pretty good at, and that is what I offer, I hope you will do the same...



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