Oh, what a week. I declare to the whole world that the most beautiful, perfect day of the entire year came to us last Tuesday. The temperature was exactly at a point to foster human happiness. There was a breeze that curculated the air just enough for comfort, but not enough to blow papers away. The sky was a deep, beautiful blue, and yet your skin did not feel the rays enough to worry over sun screen. This is the weather we dream of. This is the weather we imagine it to be when we look back on these memories with just a little too much nostalgia. We sometimes make them a little better than they actually were. But, I tell you, this is not exaggeration. The day felt this good.
We had the Board of Ordained Ministry up this week doing interviews with those seeking ordination. It is a stressful time for everyone involved. Imagine job interviews that are stretched out over months, even years. So there are pastors of all age and experience level up to make these difficult decisions (and forgive me if I didn’t explain it just right). A pastor sat next to me at lunch and asked, “What do you know, Troy.” I would typically respond with the standard, “nothing,” or “not a whole lot,” but on that day, I knew exactly what I knew. “It is a beautiful day,” is how I responded.
I found on Tuesday that I really had more pressing work to do in the office than outside, so I had to make sure that when I walked from one building to another that the walk was a slow, deliberate one. I checked in on our goose couple (who I have named Nick and Nora) from the road above the waterfront. I looked out on the river which looked so blue because of the sky that was also so blue. I wanted to go out to trails and hike them or put the sailboat in the water and drift to the other side of Kentucky Lake. Surely there was some important work to do out there, more important than the work waiting for me in my office.
I sat at the table another time with a group of pastors who were swapping stories about unexpected things that had happened out in the congregation while they were delivering sermons. It was very enjoyable to hear these pastors, who can so often feel the need to talk the minute details of theology or church politics to just let loose and tell stories. It is so much fun to park yourself at a table or circle of rocking chairs and listen to people tell stories. We laughed and joked, and it felt no different than a cabin of campers during the summer who are realizing how great community can be.
The thing about perfect weather, though, is that those perfect conditions are delicate by their nature. That nice breeze that flows through is probably the start of a strong wind that is on it’s way. That mild temperature is teetering on a balance of jet stream with hot, gulf air pushing against cold, arctic fronts. It will slip soon, and we will have on us the storms that ripped through Friday night and made it difficult for parents to get their kids here for counselor certification. That perfect day will give way to tornadoes that kill and leave people homeless. Sometime after we sit and joke around the table, those pastors may decide that they are not ready to endorse another pastor for the ordination they seek, leaving everyone to hurt and grieve.
I walked outside Friday night, as a round of storms passed near Lakeshore. The wind brought cold air, so I wrapped up in a long sleeve flannel shirt. The sky lit up now and then with flashes of lightening and the dark sky rumbled in the distance. At this moment, I was quick to want to go back inside. I thought of reasons that I might not need to go out and turn on lights outside, hopes that there might be some work inside I would need to complete. It was a far cry from that perfect Tuesday when I wished I could be outside for every moment. And yet, as the lightenting lit up the sky, if even for a moment, I stood just a little amazed that in all of it, there was a God working–building up some new kind of creation that I don’t yet know or understand.
This weekend, we have Counselor Certification and a womens’ Sunday School group. Keep us in your prayers.