There's Always A Milestone
This year is my tenth in the parish ministry. I feel like I started this work yesterday , so it's hard to believe I'll have completed a decade as a "Rev." as of June 14, 2007. Therefore, this is also a year to reflect: what has this all meant? Will it always be this intense? If it wasn't, would I find it as fulfilling? How have I changed? Am I touching lives in a good way? And so on and so on.
As I was considering refinancing my graduate school loan the other day (anyone want to donate $31K to The Cause?), I thought about committing to a 20-year payback period. I'm 40, I'll be 60 then and still working, it makes sense (God willing my health permits and the crick don't rise in the form of the market crashing or other unforeseen circumstance). I was cleaning the house while thinking about this issue and I just stopped dead in my tracks. TWENTY YEARS 'TIL I'M SIXTY.
I thought, holy holy cow, girl, you had better pace yourself. You've thought nothing of serving a congregation full time, teaching, working on a doctorate, pretty constantly coming up with new program ideas for your congregation, being a very counseling-centered pastor, writing two blogs, engaging in activism on a pretty regular basis (although not on an impressive basis), busting your butt trying to be a consistently strong preacher and worship leader, doing denominational work, and keeping one foot in the theatre and music worlds. That's fine for now, but is it fair to expect this level of activity for another 20 years? No one else will expect it of you, but will you expect it from you?
So today in church when we sang,
Guide my feet
while I run this race
For I don't want to run this race in vain...
Boy, was I feeling it.