It’s Monday morning. A new start to the week and the beginning of new patterns for me. I am posting this to create a space for accountability, and to invite you to walk with me on this path.
I’m going to be reading more. When I read I write because I need to reflect. The books I read seem to beg for conversation. I don’t remember when I decided, but the reason I write so much in the books I read, dog ear the pages, scribble in the back pages stems from my need to process what I’m reading.
I started reading last night. I pulled a book from my TBR (to be read), sat there in the dimly lit room and began to digest Eugene Peterson’s book, Working the Angles.
ASIDE: At one of the first writers conferences that I went to a highly respected writer stated that introductions are unnecessary. It didn’t sit right with me then…still doesn’t. If the introduction doesn’t grab me and get marked up, I’m just not sure I want the book.
So last night, I tripped into Peterson’s intro. I was captured boy his illustration (something I’m definitely going to refer to when I teach Pastoral Care again) of the “angles” need to be working: prayer, scripture, and spiritual direction. He goes on to describe how instead of tending to these internal things, pastors focus more on the externals and pleasing the people, often leaving God out of the script completely.
As I consider moving back into pastoral ministry, I want to be sure I’m building on the angles. So that’s why I grabbed John Dear’s book, The Questions of Jesus. And the first question he lifts up Jesus’ question of his potential followers: What do you want?
Sitting here in my favorite coffee, with people milling about, grinders whirring, and country music blaring, I melted into a puddle of tears. Jesus cares what I want…do I?
God. It’s Monday. New day. New week. Thanksgiving in a few days. Big changes may be coming my way. Family stress brimming and threatening to overflow. And you slip into the chair across from me at my local coffee spot. You skip the small talk, the meaningless chit chat about how cold it is in Ohio and what pie I’m taking for Thanksgiving dinner. You lean in and in a quiet voice ask me what I want. How much time do you have Jesus? I don’t always know. Don’t know how to put it all in words. And you smile and let me know you have eternity to figure it out. Thanks, Jesus.
(Be sure to come back. We’ll be looking at Jesus’ questions for a while together.)