In the Fall I tend to be in a sort of self evaluation mode for one reason or another. It has come naturally for me over the years. Perhaps it is watching the leaves Fall to the ground and being swept off that helps me to wonder which leaves of my past year have fallen and been blown away to insignificance, which have taken seed, and which have been taken home to a place of prominence by an eager wondering preschooler.
I wonder what will last and what will will disappear, what will be remembered and will matter and what was wasted. It's important to know such things when you are in the realm of the pastoral arts. It can be a good measure of worth, whether or not your influence is lasting.
Interestingly....or not, in my profession, I find it is likely the "other" things that have the greatest longevity. By other things, I mean things that are not seen as "spiritual"by the pious saints. The evidence I have for this is simply the difficulty that I have investing in the "other". I can find plenty to occupy my time in the expectations of a community o' faith on it's leader. I can program myself and my community into a virtual spiritual death. As I understand the workings of the deceptive one, I understand that his goal for my life is to keep me from what matters and immerse me in what doesn't. If this has an ounce of truth, then what really matters and what really lasts are things like time spent with my wife and a community friend wandering last night during the Art Walk. It is coffee with
friends. It might be stopping in on a local business owner to shop. It is holding the hand of a 2 year old princess. Those things may not seem spiritual, but I have a sense that they hold tremendous value because they are so hard to come by.
I spend so much time figuring out what to say. I justify it by the thought that it is what God would have me say. This makes it alright...this time I spend with my head down and Pandora on. I get paid to have my head down and the door closed. It's a bizarre place that we put ourselves in... We meaning pastoral types like me. Don't get me wrong...I am not negating the value of the art of dissecting and communicating the sacred words in the Book of Books. I just think that we've gone about it in a closed system that misses the value of time spent in the lives that are valued by the Book.
So the leaves come down and are blown down the block. They come and they go and it's not for me to determine. I just need to be with them.