My, it seems as though it's been forever since I posted anything here. I was away on business for a few days and the motel I was in had high speed internet -- but what they didn't say was that it was WIRELESS. I had the wrong computer with me, so I had to settle for a very slow dial up connection which prevented me from doing much more than checking email. Even that was a challenge. Click the icon, take a shower, come back and read a message. Click the "Next" button, go get coffee, come back and read a message. You get the idea. Anyway, I am back now and ready to write volumes.
First, I found the long sought Thanksgiving mugs. Can you believe I had to go to Pittsburgh to find them? Ben was surprised and amazed last night when he opened the package I brought him. He was at my house when I got home and oh what a welcome sight he was. If you have someone special in your life cherish them. He spent the night and headed out early to get home in time to go to work. Poor baby, he's gonna have a long day -- driving a hundred miles, working eight hours, music rehearsal tonight. He'll be POOPED.
Speaking of POOPED, I was on the road for 10 hours yesterday after three very busy and long days. Today thus far I am playing catch up. Had to check mail and go to the bank. Still have a bill or two to pay and a house to clean. Then it's time to do some work around the building and get some stuff doen for church. I have to work quickly to get stuff ready for the church for next weekend as I will be gone again for a day or two. I am visiting a church in Dayton, OH, so everything for here has be in place by midweek or it will mean an extra trip to town -- and who can afford such a thing?
Now, on to the commentary for the morning. I just attended a church conference with 400+ other people. During that time, my "superior" (for lack of a better word) managed to snub me not once, but at least three distinct times. The first day, upon arrival, my pastor and I walked into the hotel. The superior (Rev. X) walked up, hugged on my colleague and chatted a moment while totally ignoring me. Did I have BO or something? Later that day, we made progress i thought. We were in the hospitality area of the conference and Rev. X was headed my direction. I thought, "Oh, maybe this time I will at least get a hello." About that time she spotted some other folks, made a quick turn and was gone. Snubbed again. A couple hours later I saw her and decided to take action. I walked right up, said hello and gave her a big hug. I thought she might crap her drawers. I said, "There, I finally got a greeting," and went merrily on my way. Did she get the hint? UM, NO! Yesterday morning she was zipping through the hotel lobby on her way somewhere. She gave my pastor a quick hug -- after he kind of stepped in her way -- and went on her way again treating me like I am the invisible man or the local leper. Ben talked a while back about the lack of care and concern for clergy from denominations. Here's continuing evidence of it. Now, I don't expect someone who is busy to stop and get into a deep and lengthy conversation, but if there are two colleagues approaching and you stop to greet one, at least take a second to acknowledge the existence and presence of both. If I were new to this body of people, I might write it off to not being recognized, but I have been an active member of this denomination for 30 years and a clergyperson for 20. DUH!
Other than the perpetual snubbing, the conference was okay I suppose. Maybe I'm just tired of these things or something, but we arrived on Wednesday night, conference began (for us) on Thursday afternoon, and by Friday morning I was ready to pack up and come home. Hmmm. Others were going ga ga over how wondeful everything was, and I guess in some ways, it was pretty great, but I felt like an outsider looking in. At least that is the last of those until next summer and who knows where I will be by then.
I told Ben that I am so ready to stop being the pastor and to devote myself to being the pastor's "wife". He is concerned that I might feel unfulfilled in that role, but how fulfilled can one be when one is constantly unsupported, ignored and overlooked by one's peers? Who knows where the journey will lead. I am not abandoning my call just yet. God hasn't been real clear with my yet (or perhaps I'm not listening), but every time I experience stuff like I described here, I move a bit closer to asking the question, "What's the use?". I am hoping for some clarity and resolution. Perhaps there is a move out there for me that I haven't seen yet and it will be an incredible journey. Perhaps I am just spinning my wheels or deluding myself. Maybe my season of ministry is past its time. Maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I should stop writing for now and get busy doing the things that need to happen this week.
Thanks for listening to my ramblings. It is great to be home; Ben brought wine and flowers and welcomed me home in ways that I will not describe here. Suffice it to say, it was worth the ten hours of road travel yesterday just to be with him.
Don't forget that tomorrow is election here in the US. I don't care if you vote Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or whatever. But get out there and exercise your right to have a say in who represents you and what they do. VOTE! Don't think that your vote doesn't count, because every vote counts. This year's election is one of the most important in recent history -- be a part of it. Perhaps I will jot a few more notes about that later. For now, it's back to the coffee pot and on with the day. Love you all!!