I first tried writing these little blurbs weekly some years ago when I became a pastor. My office manager suggested I try to fill qthis muchq space in the church bulletin. I started with the obvious, and wrote a sentence or two about the morning's sermon topic: qToday we look at the way God led Joshua, and see that He still leads us through our personal struggles today.q That was deadly dull. I couldn't take it. My own mind drifted off into the nether regions. Slowly, unplanned, I began to find diversions. I followed my own wandering thoughts. I strolled along ethereal shores, looking for pretty shells or interesting wave-worn rocks. Over three hundred of these musings have been the result. Some are ridiculous, and probably none is sublime, but they reflect my mental meanderings. If you choose to come along, I'm grateful for the company. Most of the topics may seem to appear with no rhyme or reason. That is because it is so. They were first dashed off as fillers. Then I began to find the writing a brief respite in the week, an outlet for my own interests. I have always tried to observe and learn wherever I could, from cereal boxes to the internet, so the myriad magazines, emails, media pulp, personal encounters, and random meetings that were woven into the pastorate-as well as countless experiences from previous careers-all provided grist for the mill. The aim of all writing-and the aim of life itself, it seems to me-is to tell the truth. It may be in the form of fiction or fact, but the goal doesn't change. Writing a poem or repairing a motorcycle or remodeling a room or preaching a sermon-I see them as all the same. Work, recreation, ministry, serving, laughing, call them what you will, if done honestly, all become worship. For each moment, for each task, we are to be true to ourselves and to others. I have tried to be so here. In this little collection you will find-again like life itself-that the sacred moments must exist side by side with the trivial, the holy with the profane. Also, I have not bothered to group by topic or date of creation. An anecdote about Christmas may follow one about paper clips. I figure it's easier to tell you that than to do the tedious work of careful collating. Please try to make the best of it.The morning mail brings a handful of reminders of things I am apparently unable to remember on my own: aIt has been six months since your last dental ... aCome in right now for your 30, 000 mile auto service. ... Bumper stickers see the bigger picture, ordering me to stop war, eradicate hunger, and telling me how to vote.
|Title||:||Out of the Norm|
|Publisher||:||Dog Ear Publishing - 2011-11|