Tomorrow begins our vacation. Susan and I will once again be heading off to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We join with other members of her family (the Anderson clan) on the beach, sharing a 15 bedroom, 15 bath home. This year we are especially excited because three of our four children, their spouses, and granddaughter Madison will be able to be with us as well. Some 35 people will be vacationing together. It sounds rather chaotic, but over the years has proven quite calm.
Actually, it’s the preparation for the vacation that is chaotic. I’m rushing to rest! I’m sure you experience the same craziness. There is so much work to be done and so little time, just so that we can have no work and lots of time to relax. In addition to everything else, the church is graciously installing new carpet in my office while I’m gone. Unfortunately, that means packing up all my books so the empty bookcases can be moved and new carpeting can be placed underneath them. After 30 some years of ministry I have a lot of books! After boxing them I think I came to the conclusion that I have too many books! Time to weed out the unnecessary!
Pastoral emergencies seemed to erupt faster than the popcorn at the movies! One couple informed me they didn’t like what I said in a sermon and they were leaving the church. Another couple informed me they liked what I said and was going to be joining the church. Guess what? It was the same sermon. Time to take a breath!
There were two more deaths in the church, one was somewhat expected and the other was not. I also received a phone call from a man’s son in Texas. His dad, Lloyd, had been a member of a church that I had served and I also had officiated at the wedding for the son. Now, his dad was dying and the son wanted to know if I would be available to fly to Dallas to do his service. Of course, I was willing, but with two services here it was going to make it somewhat difficult. The family elected to have another clergy do the service and to interview me over the phone about Lloyd. Time to remember and be thankful for good people!
The special edition of the Nardin Park newsletter will be coming out soon. It will be filled with all of the marvelous ministry opportunities for the coming year. For that edition I also plan out my next year’s sermons and worship events. It’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth the effort to see the bigger picture of the worship experiences that we provide people. Time to listen to God’s voice.
Time to weed out the unnecessary! Time to take a breath! Time to remember and be thankful for good people! Time to listen to God’s voice! Even in the rushing toward rest God’s spirit is moving and I am grateful for God’s grace in the chaos. Now it’s time to vacation!