I recently have expressed to several loved ones my desire for my life to be less compartmentalized. I'm not sure what this might look like but I'm sure it would include more grace and further understanding. For example, folks at church might understand my need to find friends outside the church. My friends outside the church might understand why I love serving such a beautiful group of culturally peculiar people. Folks I serve with as a staff might understand that the time I spend chillin with my brother or taking rest is spiritually important and good. My family might understand that I am different than their pre-conceived mis-conceptions about the "church". It is these same feelings that have caused some of these same loved ones to seek dramatic changes in their life and vocations.
As I have processed through this some, I realize that at one point, my life used to be like that. me, my wife, our families, my church, my friends, my ministry were all trapped in a fairly traditional, fundamentalist, Bible thumping, non-smoking, non-drinking, generally abstaining from all appearances of evil, bubble. It wasn't all that great.
I'm thankful for the tension and also the diversity of relationships that are present in and shaping my life at this moment.
Yesterday I started my morning at a typical greasy spoon "Kountry" diner for a hearty breakfast and good conversation with Journeyman. We discussed some shared sufferings, longings, and experience in what I call "the joys of second chair leadership". I felt a divine confirmation that I need to be in Minnesota next spring, maybe for a week or two longer than I originally planned.
The yumminess continued as I met a friend for drinks at Mickey D's. Yes, the Ronald Mc Donald Place. There was a Starbucks across the street, but we settled for some McFlurry goodness. My favorite wells fargo banker, Paul (not his real name) has a real passion for Apologetics, (and also Apologetix). Paul is fulfilling some essential leadership roles at our church as a volunteer and is longing for the glorious days of vocational ministry. I keep trying to tell him that "vocational ministry" is not always all it's cracked up to be. I mean, I think it's the best job in the world. But certainly enough of my friends are pursuing exit plans so they can pursue ministry with out the constraints and expectations that come with being part of a "church staff"... and I totally understand why they would do that.
From there I had some great phone conversations with some of my compadres about summer camps. Our speaker, I have not yet met in person, is growing on me as we have more phone conversations together. He lives in Baltimore. I then visited and prayed with one of the greatest pre-school teachers in the world. She had major surgery this week and she is one of the reasons I love serving such a culturally peculiar group of people. I thought she was peculiar before, but after seeing her on drugs? I'm convinced.
I then went to deliver a Sourdough Jack to my bro, and favorite pizza delivery man. We opened the bag and were disappointed to find no sourdough jack. Why does that always happen to me? We had a nice lunch and visit. I again am so thankful for this season of having Tim close by.
I got back to church in time to put together a lesson for our evening student gathering. We used Steve Case's Book of Uncommon Prayer and had a fairly liturgical, student led service, outside, celebrating the arrival of summer. It was a little weird, but wonderful all the same. I ended the evening with my favorite person. My wife, cafe con leche, and our green couch. It was a pretty good day.
The day before included equally as meaningful conversations with an Indonesian missionary, Wisconsin worship leader, Californian church planter and Arizonian English teacher. Did I mention how much I appreciate the diversity of meaningful relationships in my life right now? It's been good.