At the Start

Today marks the beginning of a  conference in Albuquerque.   Action and Contemplation.

Yesterday thought of the importance of this work, work many pastors – the last of the generalists as one colleague phrased it – find both so enlivening and heart rending.  The work is hard and important because pastors and many others on the spiritual journey continually must stand in two places.

One, the world of the world.  Worries about budgets and guiding and somehow helping that person who with a chipper, shallow glowing grin chirps “Isn’t life great” with little of the depth that adds meaning to those words.  ”Great”, I fear, can simply be code for “I have a lot of stuff.”

Second, the word of the Spirit, where life remains precious, connected and touching and at the same time broken so deep that tears come easily.  Imagine shuttling between McDonalds and the silent oasis in prayer.   That is often my day.  Not just with others.  But with myself.

And so the work matters.  It matters that we effort to cross over to new places and new language and new ideas, it matters that we go back to to help others and those lost parts of ourselves do the same.

At the start.


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