Today, my brain stopped working.
I was standing at the graveside for a funeral going over the so familiar liturgy and every minute or two, I just flubbed up my words. The epitome of my exhaustion came when we got to the Lord’s Prayer and I forgot a line. But because it was at the graveside and because they were presbyterians and not methodists (and said debts and not trespasses) and because I was not mic’d no one really noticed. Except me.
Okay, okay, it wasn’t that bad. I did my job just fine. But I reached my limit, and I knew it.
They say that there will be those days in ministry where everything happens at once. Pshaw – I thought. I’m still young and strong. I’m a runner (or at least I was five days ago before my ministry got in the way). I have some endurance. I can do it.
But here I am, sitting on the couch after five days full of good churchy things and all I can say is that I’m really glad the episode of britney/brittany finally finished downloading so I could absolutely turn the brain off and enjoy myself.
There was a baptism, and a wedding rehearsal, and a funeral and a wedding, and a study on revelation, and a budget meeting, we installed a new patio door, and I hosted a church progressive dinner/bible study, and a conference event I helped plan and lead worship for, and another funeral and a bible study… all in the quick span of 5 days. And by the way – if I can brag a little – my methodist ladies put on the best funeral lunches in the world.
I talked with a friend on Monday afternoon and we realized that we aren’t quite so young anymore. I might still get asked if I’m the granddaughter at the funeral visitation instead of asked if I’m the minister – but I’m not as young as I look. My back starts to ache after a day standing in heels and it never did when I was the middle schooler with the big clunky shoes. The ministry comes easier. The job is absolutely rewarding. I know I can do this job. Just please, Lord, not so much of it all at once!!!
I did have a few moments of grace and rest here and there. I napped for 20 minutes on Sunday afternoon. We had a guest musician/speaker who led worship on Sunday morning. McDonald’s Mocha Frappe is actually a pretty good substitute for a good frozen espresso drink when there is no coffee shop in sight. The rest stop on I-80 where I got out and walked around (to keep from falling asleep) was really clean and had a restored prairie area. And our church newsletter was taken over by a lay person – hallelujah.
Sabbath and rest is something that I take seriously, but I also recognize that there needs to be flexibility in the schedule of a pastor. And that means that I’m totally out of commission after youth group tomorrow night. I’m leaving the state. Getting away with family to celebrate a new start for my brother. I’m looking forward to a long car ride with chex mix and laughter… and maybe some weird al yankovic if I can find the old tapes. My batteries are long overdue for an old school recharge.