After an almost eight year absence I am going back into parish ministry. It feels a little like getting on a roller coaster, except that a roller coaster is more predictable, has fewer ups and downs, and you know you won’t go flying out of the car.
Flying from a car that was speeding around a track at 75 miles per hour is one thing. Having to deal with people is a wholly other (and Holy Other) type of danger. Of course the rewards are greater as well.
The Psalter lessons for today are absolutely no help for me however. In Psalm 35 the psalmist prays that people stop attacking him and just leave him alone. To be honest I have never suffered from any attacks of this sort, unless you count the damage I manage to do to myself.
Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
2 Take hold of shield and buckler
and rise for my help!
against my pursuers!
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation!”
In essence I am asking God to stop me from Fight Clubbing myself. And, in essence, God hears my prayers.