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Month: June 2015

Do we need a meeting? Respecting others’ time

The time people give for meetings is a generous donation. Image by ( [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons
The time people give for meetings is a generous donation. Image by ( [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons
Some six months ago, I began living the life of a layperson while remaining clergy. After more than 20 years as an associate pastor, I now work a desk job in an office. While there are similarities to my previous life, it has been a season of adjustment.

One of the lessons I have learned is about time and the limited amount of it I have available each week.

In my pastoral positions, I had a good deal of control over my schedule. There were many appointments to keep and meetings to attend, but I was the one setting most of them. For example, I could schedule the mission trip parents meeting on Wednesday night because on Tuesdays my family watched Dancing with the Stars together. Protecting family time was important and it should be.

What I failed to realize fully, was that every meeting I did schedule was cutting into someone else’s family time, which was just as important to them and should be. I confess I didn’t always treat their attendance as the valuable donation to the life of the church that it was.

When people come to a meeting, they are donating something very valuable to the church. Respect their gift with these tips.

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Bunnies, Baseball, and Being Stuck

I love my morning bicycle rides on the walk-run-bike trail near my house. By the lake I might see a heron or a few ducks. Smaller birds flit in the trees and land in the path in front of me. In one section of the trail I have recently noticed several rabbits who seem interested in, but cautious of, me and my bicycle.

A bunny friend on a different day.
A bunny friend on a different day.

The other morning one of the rabbits appeared to be a little caught off-guard when I approached. She seemed to think I might not have seen her, and was uncertain what she ought to do next. If she ran, she would get away but I would certainly notice. If she remained still she might be a little more vulnerable, but I might miss her. To my delight, she chose the latter, or at least so it appeared.

As I drew near and eventually passed by, I watched her closely and noticed she wasn’t perfectly still—her front leg was moving, ever so slowly. She was getting ready to spring to safety if I turned out to be a threat.

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