Sunday, January 29, 2006


Most of my life, I have been in professions that are not project-based. I have waitressed and bussed, edited manuscripts, tagged and coded legal publications, cleaned, pumped gas, cooked, and managed an upscale deli. My three most important, most lasting professions -- the work that permeated my life and formed me -- are teaching (philosophy, college-level), organizational consulting, and, of course, pastoring.

Consulting is project-based, and fun. But both teaching and pastoring are about relationships, and there is no clear beginning and end to those... at least not the ones that affect us.

When I was teaching (which I loved doing), the hardest part was watching people I had grown to love move on, and never finding out whether our time together had helped or hindered or affected any part of their lives. Looking back, teaching, particularly something as affecting as philosophy, was a faith walk of sorts.

Pastoring has those aspects. People come and go, and take your love with them. But sometimes, on precious days that are graced by the light of the Divine, you can see their lives change. Or they tell you: my life is changing; I am changing my life, with God's help; today I am blessed.

Today, I saw the Holy Spirit moving among my folks, my loved ones. And someone blessed me by sharing those words. The light shines in the night, tonight.

The work is the thing. But there's nothing like a great end to a good story. Or a good beginning to an even greater one.

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