In Over My Head

Disoriented is the word that best describes my first few days in Connecticut as the Interim Pastor of Wilton Baptist Church. I feel strangely clueless. It’s been a weird few days. It’s already snowed. I purchased an electric blanket. My printer’s not working. I’ve already been to an Urgent Care “Doc in a Box” to follow up a complication from hand surgery. They’re painting the inside of the house where I’m living. The shower downstairs doesn’t produce hot water but the shower upstairs does. I live downstairs.

Welcome to Life! I love it.

Two days ago, on the second Sunday of Advent, the church gathered for worship and I preached my first sermon here. Oddly enough, the sermon was about Peace, but I wasn’t feeling very tranquil. Pastor friends and I have joked about praying that something should happen in a worship service that isn’t in the bulletin. But it’s not a joke. God’s Spirit is not, after all, predictable. We can organize the deck chairs on the Titanic, but it’s better if someone (or Someone) comes up with a strategy to keep the ship from sinking.

Wilton Baptist was to celebrate Communion, but the Lord’s Supper wasn’t mentioned in the bulletin. We had Communion anyway. Throughout the service, I think I was standing when I should have been sitting, and vice versa. I forgot to turn the microphone on; then, I forgot to turn it off. During the Lord’s Prayer, the congregation asked God to forgive us our trespasses and my prayer asked God to forgive us our debts. Oops.

It was that kind of Sunday.

As a pastor, I’ve discovered I’m only a small part of the process. I enjoy the shade of trees I didn’t plant. I put one foot in front of the other in the ordinary way, but, amazingly, extraordinary things happen. I like that. It takes some of the pressure off a single individual. None of us are doing anything, as our preschool children say, “All by myself.”

I’ll prepare sermons. I’ll meet with the Pastor Search Committee. Still, I’m absolutely certain that I’m part of Some Thing Bigger than I am. That’s good to remember.

Categories: Faith/Spirituality, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

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16 thoughts on “In Over My Head

  1. Uncle Butch

    Probably not such a bad thing. Gives you all a common bond and something to laugh about as your ministry continues and picks up steam. “Remember that time when”…

    They will appreciate you even more when you hit your stride. Enjoy your new mission and adventure.

  2. Thanks, Butch.

  3. MIke Burton

    Marion, do you think they noticed your Southern accent?
    Take care,
    Mike and Grace Burton, Greenwood FBC

  4. Anonymous

    Great!!!! Hope you have a great time in the snow. At least it should be a White Christmas.

  5. George Rossi

    I laughed several times reading your blog. Good stuff and funny on top of that. I have a saying I use with patients, “If you make me laugh when I visit then that is a sure fire way to get the chaplain to return.” Probably true too with blogs. My blog has gotten a bit serious lately but that’s another story.

  6. Russell D'Arensbourg

    Couldn’t you find something closer to home?

  7. Jim Hattler

    Sure did have a good laugh on this one. Let me know if the Lord forgives your debt when you have a chance!!! We all have days like this and as I tell my kids…the best thing to do is to go to bed. Somehow the next day is always much better. Go Tigers!!!

  8. Yeah, I still have to pay my credit card and house payments. But my trespasses are worse.

  9. Marion, you’ve made my day. Don’t ever get too organized. Sometimes our Lord likes things to be a little messy.

  10. I agree, Monette. We are reminded that we are not in charge.

  11. Russell D'Arensbourg

    I guess they wanted to make sure they got a real southern Baptist .

  12. Sherry Bomar

    I love your wit, Marion, and will try to remember to think things are funny when I goof up. I know God forgives me, but sometimes wonder if people do.
    Sherry B.

    • Anonymous

      Sherry, That’s probably their problem, not your problem. I try to spend less time with graceless people. Makes my life better.

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