I am speechless, but I have to type. I have just been told about a program in which I could be a working minister very quickly. I’m going to go for it.
That being said, I have some concerns. The only one I really want to share publicly is that I am in terrible mental shape and no one should let me do any pastoral care at this point. I need to keep going to my Al-anon meetings, because I’m finding that it opens me up more than individual therapy. Somehow, being in a room where everyone has the same story is more healing than one person in which to confide. You have a whole room of people saying, “yup. Been there.” But at the same time, I want a professional opinion from someone who, even in the secular world, ministers to people all the time. I want to know whether a psychologist thinks that I have psychologist-level ways of deflecting so that I am not working fried all day and can’t sleep because Mrs. Gunderson’s son has been picked up by the police for drug trafficking, then, later that day, Mr. Abelard was killed in a car accident, I have four hospital visits, my kid is sick, and my wife is being hateful.
As I have said many times, I tend to take on the pain of others, which is an essential thing that you have to learn not to do. A little bit of clinical separation is what allows you to deal with other people’s problems without them becoming your problems, too. It would paralyze me as an effective leader, and pastors much greater than I’ll ever be talk about this interminable march of organized chaos often.
Being a pastor is only about ten percent getting up in front of people. The rest of the time, people are in front of you. In my dad’s first week at one of his churches, one of the kids in the youth group lost his father, and TWO things happened at that week’s summer camp: 1) Some of the senior highers were caught playing strip poker. 2) One of the senior high girls had found another girl at camp in the directory whose address was the same as her father’s rent house. She found out that her dad had been hiding a whole other family from her.
In his first week at one of his other churches, he found out that his predecessor had been sleeping with some of the women in his congregation, the entire church was fractured in half, and there was a bullet hole in the front window of the parsonage… from a parishioner.
It just makes you wonder, doesn’t it? God, if that was the first week, what the fuck have you got planned for the next one?
That’s why I feel I need to work towards being six feet tall and bulletproof emotionally. Being a pastor means that for the rest of my life, I will see people in the worst moments of theirs. In tragedy, people tend to call out for God, and the best thing I can do as a regional rep is to be there for them without injuring myself.
People, this blog just got more interesting.
God just knocked my punk ass down.