I know that seems like a strange title, but I really don't know how I feel today. Over the weekend I was told that I have to slow down in order to avoid certain "side-effects" of my stroke. What exactly that means, I don't know. What I am facing right now is the uncertainty of one question, that really manfiests itself in many issues: what do I eliminate? Now on the surface that is an easy question to answer: I simply eliminate anything unneccesary. Ok, what is unneccesary? Teaching Sunday night connecting point? Teaching Sunday School? Visitation? Board Meetings? Missions? Building and Grounds...I mean what do I eliminate? Trying to narrow down to one can be very hard and then I have to come to grips with the fact that it might be permanently. I hope not, but it might be. That means that once I "rearrange" my schedule, it might be permanently. That is a big thing to process. I mean, I always adjusted my schedule for a short term depending on my situation, but this might be forever. I am struggling with guilt as I eliminate something...does that mean it does not warrant my full attention? Does that mean I am "cutting it loose". I realize that some people think I am being unreasonable, but what would happen if the reader had to prioritize several very important things. Does that mean that some things are less important? I know I have to do it, but it does not make it easy. This is the first week I will be facing with a new schedule and I am just getting a little apprehensive.
A few years ago I was presented with the opportunity to come back to Stratford, Iowa, to First Baptist church, as their pastor; for those of you who have followed this blog for some time, FBC in Stratford was my first pastorate. Let's just say I prayed about it as I was jumping at the opportunity. The church has a parsonage, so I could live there and not have to worry about a houe payment; and I needed to slow down, and this was a part time position (which, as a side note, allowed for me to get a greater disability from the VA than when I was working full time with St. Croix Hospice...) We love Stratford, and absolutely love the church; the people are wonderful and accepted us, again, with open arms. This was, for me, the perfect position: I get to pastor a church I LOVE, I get to do life with people I LOVE, and I have already had the opportunity to do weddings and baptism services for kids (adults now) that I have known their entire lives. IT IS GREAT. The longer I have been here,