Monday, April 24, 2017

Random Monday

Some random musings to get me back in the habit.

Random musing #1
I love jelly beans. It is one of four foods that if they are in my life, I can't stop eating them. Luckily, jelly beans come around once a year for me. I know that there are "gourmet" jelly beans available all year round. The jelly beans that I eat uncontrollably are the non-gourmet. And usually, the cheap ones. They are the ones that have been popular fodder for Easter baskets going back to my childhood. They are gelled sugar coated in a harder sugar shell with some flavoring added. I love those the best.

Don't get me wrong about gourmet jelly beans. I enjoy those. But for the old standard Easter jelly bean, I can't control myself when eating them. And Lisa bought me two bags of them. They sit on my desk, taunting and tempting me. One bag has been opened. But I have shown restraint. I only allow myself a few.

It is driving me crazy.

Random musing #2
We enrolled Nick in college Friday. He is started Oklahoma City University in the Fall semester. I was really filled with anxiety at the thought of him going to college. I still worry about it some. But I feel more comfortable after Friday. I am not worried about him succeeding nearly as much as I was at the beginning of last week. There is something comforting in knowing that he will have friends to look after him. There is something relaxing in it being a smaller school without the large, easy to get lost in, lecture classes. I really want him to succeed there. I think he could take the education he receives there and launch himself into the world. For the first time I see him becoming what he wants to be.

Random musing #3
This is the week that the  United Methodist Judicial Council will approach the subject of Bishop Oliveto's appointment. There are a lot of emotions and opinions about what this week represents. In my mind and heart, it represents the unknown future I face as a pastor within the UMC. It also represents the division that exists within my emotions and opinions about where I stand. I am afraid that there will be no answers through this. I am afraid this will cause a split within the denomination. I am afraid that it will cause people in the churches I serve to leave, putting their local ministry at risk. I am afraid I won't have a job soon. All of these emotions are running through my life. It doesn't make getting up to do the work easy.

Random musing #4
I really miss having a weekly game of Dungeons and Dragons or any other RPG. I wish I had a group that could game frequently. The games do a lot of good for my peace of mind and well-being. It gives me an outlet for creative energy. It helps me build a community of similarly minded people. It gets me out of the stress of all that I'm facing. It allows me to lay aside the pastor for a little while and tackle fictitious problems in a safe environment.

In college, and right after, I had a group that played almost every Sunday. We would sit for hours and adventure. We didn't use D&D. We used a system that allowed us to play in multiple types of settings. That meant we might play fantasy one week and science fiction the next then superheroes the week after that. That really was a happy time. It was getting me out of the stress of studies. It was a group of guys that I grew to trust and enjoy. Those Sunday's were long and tiring. I haven't found anything yet that replaced how good those times were.

That is why I keep searching for something like it.

Random musing #5
I am thankful for Spring because my seasonal depression is going into its dormant phase. This cycle has been the worst since college. There are too many personal factors that went into it to share publicly. I realize that much of it has been accompanied by health factors and panic/anxiety. And it has probably been detrimental to my effectiveness in ministry during the cycle. I realize that I lost a lot of the ability I have had in the past to shield the congregation and my family from things. I was more sensitive to events. I was less patient with circumstances. I didn't preach with the same impartiality that I typically have used. I don't say this as justification or excuse. I recognize that I am responsible for how I approach the work that I do. But I also recognize that heart, mind, body, and soul are intertwined. Whatever I do is a reflection of the interaction of the parts of who I am. This year, I was less than who I am normally.

Random musing #6 (to end on a brighter note)
Free Comic Book Day is two weeks away!