Rustlings (August 31, 2015)

Labor Day reminds me that I have the second best job in the world. Some time ago, a college student plopped into a chair in my office. He hemmed and hawed a bit about his reason for the visit. Finally he confessed, “I feel like God wants me to be a preacher, but I have no idea what you do all day!” I simply told him, “I’ve got the second best job in the world.” I went on to explain a day…a week…in the life of a minister. We spend a lot of time in conversation with God.

This takes the form of prayer, study, meditation and awareness. When parishioners ask that I remember them in my prayers, I take the request seriously and intentionally share their concerns with God. I also respect those parishioners who find a place in the pew each Sunday morning. So a portion of my week is spent studying scripture and life – attuning myself to hear a word or whisper from God that I might share. In addition to these conversations with God, I have numerous conversations with people. These verbal exchanges are centered on personal spiritual direction, pastoral care in crisis, decision making in the church, questions of faith and sometimes just joyful fellowship. I also speak words of faith at funerals, weddings and other gatherings. I sit beside hospital beds, stand before civic gatherings and walk beside a lot of wandering and wondering people. It’s the second best job in the world. My young college friend quickly took the bait.

“What’s the best job in the world?” he predictably asked. I smiled and said,
“Only Santa Claus has a better gig than me. He makes everyone in the world extremely happy and only has to work one day a year!” I really enjoy sharing in all the work of the church. I’ve sung with Kyle on Wednesday nights, helped at youth camp, attended Senior Adult gatherings, taught Sunday School, provided prelude music for Holy Week services, chaperoned children’s events, walked with walkers at the AYMC, greeted on Sunday mornings and more!

This Sunday, in honor of Labor Day, I’m going to work extended
session while Baxter preaches! I hope you’ll find a place to volunteer
and work in the life of the church. Drive for or chaperone a youth event, volunteer for a committee, teach a class, help with our preschoolers and
children, volunteer in the AYMC, be a greeter or sing in the choir. Any one
of these jobs is almost as good as Santa’s gig. Almost….

— Jim