I went to a wedding the weekend before last, a wedding where I did not officiate. So instead of preaching and coaxing vows out of nervous brides and grooms, instead of praying and being on high alert at all times, I was listening. Intently.
I know, this is an odd confession for a pastor to make. You don't like to hear your pastor saying, "I'm no good at praying." And don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't pray. It's just that I am apt to compare myself with people who seem to be able to go on and on, pray aloud for hours with no notes.
I recently officiated at the funeral for one of my beloved uncles, my dad's brother-in-law, Roger. He was 90, so he lived a good long life, just the past few years in a local nursing home, confined to a wheelchair. He and my Aunt Norma were married for 65 years, which is a pretty good run, in my book. My aunt and their three children and families were there, at the funeral, and I was honored, and a little nervous, to speak to them.
Whenever I go on vacation, I realize again how tangled up my faith practices are with my work. I am not proud to say it, and I begin each vacation time with a desire to encounter God on vacation in a different way than I do in my daily work.