This morning I'm torn. The readings for today come from Joshua and 1 Corinthians, all good stuff. I'm torn because I don't know which one to choose. The reading from Joshua contains the famous "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord," and that would be an awesome way to make a statement about what my family holds dear. But the readings from 1 Corinthians have the material for a really awesome rant on equality in the church. Paul is talking about Christ being the head of every man, and that the head of woman is man. I do not consider myself above my wife, never have, never will. I could really go off on that because it is just not right. (yet another reason I am glad that I'm not a literalist). Yesterday we had Paul at one of his best moments, well, this is one of his worst.
This would be a perfect opportunity for me to rant a little about folks who say they follow every word of the bible when the reality is, it's almost impossible. I mean, how many heads do we see covered in church today? It just doesn't happen anymore.
There's stuff in 1 Corinthians this morning about worship, and how not to act when we come to it. I could go off on that because worship in a lot of places has become more about idolatry than worship of the Creator God. But I won't, and here's why...I'm distracted.
I think today is an opportunity for me to be humbled, and I hate it when that happens. You see, as a pastor, I have a tendency to get a little cocky sometimes. I was once accused of that by a very dear friend of mine, (before we became very dear friends, he just thought I was arrogant ...maybe so) but I assured him that what he saw as arrogance was only confidence.
This blog has been an awesome way to reinforce that lately. Writing makes me remember who I am and why I do what I do. I'm reassured through the interaction between my finger tips and the keyboard. I'm in the zone when I'm up early in the morning and the house is quiet. I don't even turn any lights on. It's just me, my laptop, and a cup of really good coffee, and I write. I feel good about myself when I'm writing because I feel connected. I feel as if I can actually hear God speaking and the fingers just can't quite keep up. But this morning...nothing.
...And that sucks. But I know what's wrong. I know why I couldn't hear God speak this morning. It happens sometimes, and for a while, happened quite regularly. You see, my family has been through hell this week and I don't mind admitting it. I have set aside my role as theologian for a few days and focused on being a husband and father, for which I make absolutely no apologies (and anyone expecting an apology for that should prepare for a very long wait). But, nonetheless, it reminds me that it's not always possible to be all things to all people like I talked about yesterday. Sometimes you have to focus on one or two things and that's what I've done.
So, it's not the usual cocky, arrogant, confident, smart aleck Jamie writing this morning. It is an humble Jamie who has made a choice. Yeah, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord, I don't doubt that at all, but for the next couple days my family will take priority.
Still, it's not one of those things that I feel bad about. So I didn't hear God speak this morning...does that mean this has been a waste? Absolutely not. This has been an opportunity for me to be transparent with my folks and there are a lot of pastors who absolutely will not do that. This has been a chance for me to admit that I'm not SuperPastor and that sometimes we all have to make decisions regardless of who our boss is...mine happens to be the Creator of the Universe. Somehow though, I don't think God would mind me taking a couple days to take care of my girls. That's something that I haven't done much of for the past 6 years.
This can be an opportunity for all of us to recognize those moments in our lives when we don't feel that we can hear God speaking, take a look around, and see what's going on around us. Just because God may not seem to be speaking doesn't mean God is not there. I figure I'll be right back on my game tomorrow, but if not, one day soon. In the meantime, I have been given a sacred trust, and they're all three still asleep. I'll fix another cup of coffee, fire up the electric skillet and start cooking breakfast, get them ready to head out the door, and pray that while I can't be watching over them, God is.