Taking Time

The world of ministry is an unending deadline that constantly crashes against you like waves on rock. Just as one Sunday “event” is finished, guess what is just 7 days away? And next week better be fresh and authentic and inspired, while not deviating too much from what is familiar.

The hardest thing for me to do is to set aside intentional time to refresh and study; to feed my heart and mind. Without this, I quickly fall into programed patterns of “church” that may look like a job well done, but that lacks the energy and naked honesty of true worship and worship leading.

That is why I am sitting in a Starbucks right now. I need to read a book that stretches and expands my views, and spend some time thinking about what I want in my ministry and what kind of minister I want to be. It’s hard, because I know that back at the office there is a bunch of stuff waiting to be done. Yet, I also know that Sundays at my church will begin to get increasingly more “templated” if I don’t remove myself from the norm.

So that’s what I’m doing.

On the way here I was stopped by a guy who asked me if I had Jew in my blood. “Why, yes I do”, I responded. He said, “I thought so”. Then he gave me a Hebrew-English bible.

I don’t know what part of me looked Jewish to him, but I must admit that it made me feel good to be identified by my family heritage. Especially because it’s a heritage I am constantly wishing I was more connected to.

As it is, I feel like my history is a big cloud of emptiness hovering just two generations behind me. I keep trying to peer into the void to see something, anything, but the story of my family, of who we are and how we got here remains a mystery to me.

Anyone else feel that way?


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Yvonne Ustick says:

    As I read your comments at first I felt concerned for you. Then the word Mystery stuck out. I wondered what is the definition of the word, so I looked it up. Here are a few of the definitions….

    anything that is kept secret or remains unexplained or unknown.

    any affair, thing, or person that presents features or qualities so obscure as to arouse curiosity or speculation.

    any truth that is unknowable except by divine revelation.

    History to me is more about the things we do know, where mystery seems more about the future, but I get what you are saying. I think we lose some of our history along the way, and when there is nobody to remember is is lost forever. I rather like the third definition. I find it comforting in a way. Maybe I don’t need to remember everything. I just need to believe that God will reveal the parts I need to know at the time.

    I hope you don’t get lost in the cloud but that you trust in the mystery, my friend.

    (and if not – take courage in the fact that there will be coffee tomorrow.)

  2. Skochp says:

    If you did the exact same Sunday as the previous week, right down to all the mistakes, now that would fresh authentic and original (albeit in a wired sort of way).

    1. shawnbaran says:

      What an original and fresh idea… That’s why I need you in my life, Skoch. You make me to see the unrealized potential that lies in an A string tuned 7 tones down. It don’t get more authentic then that.

  3. shawnbaran says:

    It’s your face, sweetie.

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