It was the bi-centenial of our nation when I was an intern. It seems like a lifetime ago and I’ve had so many experiences since then and many more that I did not experience because I did not always follow my heart and lived with a people pleasing approach to life. This is not a gripe or complaint just an assessment. This past weekend I got to visit with my friends, Dan and Kim. Dan will begin his internship this August – you’ve got my support, Dan and Kim. He will get to experience the work-world in a real time working parish lab. You’ll even have to work with a few cadavers when you preach. He will get to sit down and receive the wisdom of a supervisor who has had years of experience and practical information to share that can never be learned in the classroom. It will also be a wake-up call. There are so many unwritten rules – hidden agendas, and roadblocks that a young intern needs to navigate. I hope his supervisor guides him and does not stifle him. He’s a good man and he and Kim are a great team. Don’t let little thinkers be big stinkers in your life.
Follow your dreams! The “church institution” is too often about politics and posing. The life restoring church is found in humble Christ-followers who know they are broken messy people who want to grow and learn from a learned and positive leader. Follow your heart! You have passions and interests – focus your attention and interests on these. God gave them to you for a reason. Everyone knows that we need to “pay the rent” and work hard. You don’t get anything accomplished by sealing yourself in an ivory tower. All people matter but humble folks willing to grow will be your friends and partners in your work and life. Follow your call! You have been called to do something special – you have amazing gifts and talents (unusual for a man your age) and you have a great partner. Keep having fun, exploring, and engaging in mutual adventures. Know your friends! Some people say they want to be your friends. They act like they love the “pastor and his family” and they act like they will be loyal forever. When it comes to people who try hardest to be your friends – be careful. Some of your greatest friends will think you are too busy for them and are conscientious about all the pressures that are on you. Spend time with those people. Friends are friends are friends and will be friends with you no matter what.
Finally – know yourself – be yourself – share yourself – but don’t give yourself away completely. Even Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart and soul and love your neighbor as you love YOURSELF.” If anyone else finds these words helpful pass them on or use them. Thanks for reading the thoughts of this ragman theologian.