September 28, 2010

upside down and inside out

Today, my brain stopped working. 

I was standing at the graveside for a funeral going over the so familiar liturgy and every minute or two, I just flubbed up my words.  The epitome of my exhaustion came when we got to the Lord's Prayer and I forgot a line.  But because it was at the graveside and because they were presbyterians and not methodists (and said debts and not trespasses) and because I was not mic'd no one really noticed.  Except me.

Okay, okay, it wasn't that bad.  I did my job just fine.  But I reached my limit, and I knew it.

They say that there will be those days in ministry where everything happens at once.  Pshaw - I thought.  I'm still young and strong.  I'm a runner (or at least I was five days ago before my ministry got in the way).  I have some endurance.  I can do it.

But here I am, sitting on the couch after five days full of good churchy things and all I can say is that I'm really glad the episode of britney/brittany finally finished downloading so I could absolutely turn the brain off and enjoy myself.

There was a baptism, and a wedding rehearsal, and a funeral and a wedding, and a study on revelation, and a budget meeting, we installed a new patio door, and I hosted a church progressive dinner/bible study, and a conference event I helped plan and lead worship for, and another funeral and a bible study... all in the quick span of 5 days.  And by the way - if I can brag a little - my methodist ladies put on the best funeral lunches in the world.

I talked with a friend on Monday afternoon and we realized that we aren't quite so young anymore. I might still get asked if I'm the granddaughter at the funeral visitation instead of asked if I'm the minister - but I'm not as young as I look.  My back starts to ache after a day standing in heels and it never did when I was the middle schooler with the big clunky shoes.  The ministry comes easier.  The job is absolutely rewarding.  I know I can do this job.  Just please, Lord, not so much of it all at once!!! 

I did have a few moments of grace and rest here and there.  I napped for 20 minutes on Sunday afternoon.  We had a guest musician/speaker who led worship on Sunday morning.  McDonald's Mocha Frappe is actually a pretty good substitute for a good frozen espresso drink when there is no coffee shop in sight. The rest stop on I-80 where I got out and walked around (to keep from falling asleep) was really clean and had a restored prairie area.  And our church newsletter was taken over by a lay person - hallelujah.

Sabbath and rest is something that I take seriously, but I also recognize that there needs to be flexibility in the schedule of a pastor.  And that means that I'm totally out of commission after youth group tomorrow night.  I'm leaving the state.  Getting away with family to celebrate a new start for my brother.  I'm looking forward to a long car ride with chex mix and laughter... and maybe some weird al yankovic if I can find the old tapes. My batteries are long overdue for an old school recharge.

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