A friend stopped by, and we talked about our respective ministries, the joys, the challenges, the questions....the sort of things that newly ordained people puzzle over.
It strikes me that every day in this work is a little different. Today, when I said Morning Prayer, I was thinking of a parishioner who is going to visit a desperately sick family member, and another parishioner who is facing surgery for cancer. There was also a list of other folks who were prayed for, some in the parish, some not. Yesterday, the sequence of the list was a little different. Today, I worked from home and looked ahead at the lectionary to see the arc of the coming weeks' sermons, and the special events we have coming up at Saint Middle School, and I did some reading that informed my sermon for this week. Fielded some phone calls, a number of emails, edited the bulletin and announcements, made plans for classes for those getting baptized in several weeks. Yesterday, it was meetings upon meetings, some ending in frustration, thinking about budgets and other worrisome things. Other days there may be pastoral visits or phone calls, which are sacred ground to me. Tomorrow night it will be Vestry and a whole bunch of things we need to attend to.
My friend and I are learning on-the-job that in work like this where every day is different, you cannot be completely prepared. There is no book that tells you answers to every question, except for the Book that gives you all the questions and bids you ask them. It is all the moment and the spirit and the prayer that you are acting, doing, being faithfully.
It would be easier if we did learn all the answers in seminary, but there is art and mysticism in it, and the intersection of souls on the journey. No GPS for this.
In the meantime, I pray simply to not mess up irreparably, and to do some good.