The United Methodist Reporter has an article this week by staff writer Mallory McCall, where she compiles (abridged) weekly logs of pastoral activity by four different pastors in four different contexts. At least one of those pastors might be familiar to you (two actually, if you count my friend and fellow UM blogger, Jeremy, who is also plugging the article).
A couple things that stand out for me. First, while there are some differences about the details, there are to me striking similarities in the work we all do– the biggest of which is that the work is random and requires flexibility and a jack-of-all-trades approach. Another similarity is the mix of large-scale public action (like leading worship or attending a public event) and very small scale private stuff like one-on-one conversations.
From my perspective, the week depicted was actually much more structured than I usually am, but I always find it helpful to reflect on what I do that no one knows about or sees and what the challenges, highlights, and moments of grace are. One thing that wasn’t included in the online article (but may be in the print edition) was that I indicated my high and low moments for the week. Low was the insurance meeting, just because it became anxious and less than uplifting. High was the meeting with a candidate for ministry. I’m mentoring three people at various stages of the process, and each one is an inspiration to me and a reminder of how blessed I am to be called.
Looking back on the week highlighted, it already seems a long time ago, and the intervening time has been filled with new challenges and moments of grace. This past week, I’ve spent more time reading and reflecting than usual, and more time prayerfully planning for programs on my own and with others. I’ve also had a nasty encounter today that reminds me that this calling has its dangerous moments too. All of these things will be the subject of future posts. For now, though, I am happy to reflect on this odd and wondrous calling, and how blessed I am to be a part of it, in all its complexity.