Pause

Photo by Andres Rueda

I hurried through my prayers this morning.  Even though I woke up early enough to clean the snow off my car, drink coffee, get to my morning meeting and especially to allow enough time for prayer, I somehow failed. Now, after that meeting is over, I’m at my desk reading through my emails.  

I need to hit pause.  


I need to reflect.  I need to return to my posture of prayer that was so harried this morning.  I need to write.  I don’t think that’s just true for me.  I think it’s just because I’m a pastor that I interrupt my day to blog.  Adam Copeland believes that writing is vital to the pastoral life.  Recalling Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, a favorite book of mine too, Copeland affirms that blogging is about paying attention.  I concur.  It’s a practice that I include in my ministry because it helps me to understand where the holy is right now.  


When I doubt that holiness, I turn my browser to the blinking cursor on my blog.  I challenge that blinking cursor to dance.  To become steady even.  It doesn’t blink while you’re typing.  Mysteriously.  So I suppose it is with God.  God becomes steady when we focus on her.  When we turn our attention toward her, we find that she was there all along.  Still, I need to hit pause.  I need to watch that cursor blink.  I need to recall why I do this crazy thing called ministry.  Right now, as I stare at my computer screen, ministry means that I read tender words from church members pouring their hearts out in front of their own blinking cursors.  I’m reading heavy words from people that just need someone to listen.  I get to that person.  It’s my honor to be that person who gets to recall that God is there.  But it does make me pause because this is a truly awesome task.  There are days that I’m not so sure I have a clear call like the one that M. Craig Barnes points toward in another young clergy person.  I’ve said the wrong thing.  I didn’t offer enough leadership. There are those days when I don’t think that I can point to the holy because I can barely see her myself.  


And so, I blog.  This act of writing might not answer my questions or ease my frustrations.  It’d be fantastic if it offered a lightning rod answer, but most of the time it just reminds me that I’m not alone.  There are others that feel the same way.  There are others that are challenged and blessed in the holy work that we do together.

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