I’m doing too much.
That was my mantra for today (well, yesterday, technically). I’m on the worship team, so I do some setup and some stressing about whether the slides are advancing correctly and the font is clear enough (hey, I like Tempus Sans; I’m sorry if you find it “bumpy”). Then I’m on the communication team, which means I a.) take notes on speakers and business and then later write articles for the old-fashioned-print-media and b.) run around, reapplying makeup and trying to track people down for video interviews for our “conference highlights” video we’re making for the first time this year (and c, I give out the award for the best web site). I’m a chair of the theological diversity team, which means I need to make sure my reports get handed out, since I was a slacker and didn’t get them into the journal. I’m on the boundaries discussion team for VT and New England, which means I need to field questions and stand up with the team and talk to people about why I’d love to see my conference stick together as one body but why I also think NE is a great place to be in ministry as well.
But I’m a person too. And sometimes I need a break.
Today (that is, Thursday) was rough. There was a family crisis that was unfolding over the course of the day, and despite all the many things I was supposed to do, I was able to also take a step back, ask for prayer when I needed it, get hugs when I needed them, and look my expectant cameraman in the eye and say “I’m not interviewing anybody tonight.” I was able, in the middle of the evening program, to say to a DS and the chair of my boundaries committee that I needed some me time and I was going to skip her meeting and go to a bar, and she was totally understanding of that.
I said it more gracefully than that. Really.
But still, this evening found me in a local dive with a bunch of people I love. Just great people. Including our keynote speaker, who was my worship and evangelism professor in seminary and is just a great guy to hang out with (I will post some reflections about his addresses at a later time, because he was just phenomenal). And again, I found an elixir for my overtaxed, grieving soul in the company of good friends and good drink.
Honestly, much as I love them, one Guinness and one Cosmopolitan do nothing to drown sorrow. Three hours of laughter and talking about who the church should be and watching the Celtics and getting a neck rub and walking a tipsy friend home and laughing at with the person I think is seriously like the coolest DS ever, that does wonders, works miracles even.
Yeah, I bit off a bit more than I could chew, responsibility wise, this Conference session. But I’m in a place where that’s okay, where people understand, where we all have times when we over-commit because we love God and we love what we do and we love to give a gift, and where we all are there for one another, laughing and crying and getting silly and dreaming about the future. We all have moments when we need one another, when we can’t stand on our own, and from that shared experience, be it exhaustion or grief (or public tipsiness?) we make no judgment, just walk each other back to where we belong.
You want to know what I think The Church is? Read that previous paragraph again.