My son (age 4.5) came home the other night after spending 8 days away with his Dad. I had been warned that re-entry from saturated time with one parent can be challenging, but I really had no idea what to expect. What I found was that I was looking at this little boy as if he had been dropped off for me to baby sit. Who was this child? What was I supposed to do with him?
The next morning found us both a bit out of sorts - he was of course tired, I had to stick to my routine (namely, go to work), he had not HAD a routine - and I found myself wondering when the parents were going to come and pick up their child.
By the end of the day thanks to familiar things like a softball game, playing catch with one another, icies on the back porch, tubbie and books before bed we were back in sync but I have spent a good portion of the time since sending him back off to be with his Dad (regularly scheduled, shorter period of time) wondering what the HECK that was all about!
I feel like there is a parallel in the beginning of my ministry here at MPC. It's been eight years since I entered a congregation a-new and at times I have felt a little lost, not sure what my role is and maybe even at times as if I were the one being dropped off for a play date!
If you add to the new beginning the number of times I have been out of the office due to pre-scheduled events it's no wonder I am not in a routine - I never had time to get one!
I have found worship to be my anchor in this sea of new faces and awkward moments and halting routines. It's the ritual of call to worship, confession, pardon, scripture and sermon, prayer and hymns that have helped me gain a comfort level and a mutual understanding and a foundation to build a long-standing ministry here.
Just as I stared at the seemingly taller, tanner, speaking-a-mile-a-minute child that walked through my door, the folks here have been trying to take in a senior pastor who is female, under 40 and walks on her toes as if she is on her way to a softball game, not a prayer meeting. Through the routine of worship and as we work together through the awkward moments, I can only see our relationship with one another getting stronger and stronger. Thanks be to God.