Musing (n) – A period of reflection or thought. (adj.) Characterized by reflection or deep thought.
I’m a muser. I think about stuff all of the time. I’m an extrovert so I do a great deal of my thinking out loud when I’m around other people. When I’m alone, I converse within myself. Sometimes I’m actually aware of what I’m pondering. One of my goals now that I’m alot closer to mortally dying than being mortally born is to become more self-aware and emotionally intelligent. If I become truly in tune with reality I might actually be able to contribute to the world’s well-being. I’ll muse about that idea later this week. For the moment, I’m introducing this blog. At least, that’s what I intended to do when I sat down this afternoon.
Ten years ago, I thought other people might be interested in my musings. My ego convinced me I should start a blog. I was a brand new Episcopal priest working as a college chaplain at the University of Arizona. I started writing Vocatio . I thought writing a blog would make me look cool with college students. (not so much). Vocatio lived for awhile. My job changed as did my geographic location. My nature of call evolved too. My life is sort of like that kind of deal. I’m a pilgrim. I am restless for all kinds of therapeutic and spiritual reasons Maybe you are too. If so, you may find my musings interesting and vice versa.
Anyway, I moved from Arizona to New Jersey and then to Ohio. Along that path, I fell in love, traded my Chevy in for a Honda. When I got to Cincinnati, I traded in the Honda for a Subaru. Lots of hills and some snow in Cincy. I continued to learn more about leadership and life as a cleric. I wrestled with myself and sense of purpose. I frequently mused about why in heaven’s name did I think that God called me to ordained ministry. I sometimes now think that I misunderstood my ego’s yearning to be important with God’s intention for me to preach, consecrate sacraments, offer absolution. Along the path, I read lots of books and spent plenty of time in contemplation. I have met all kinds of people in all sorts of circumstances. Along The Way, I became more thoroughly convinced that The Episcopal Church and Christianity, on the whole, should be more relevant, wise, and compassionate. We’re living through what Phyliss Tickle described as The Great Emergence. I believe Diana Butler Bass as she describes that Christianity is undergoing a Spiritual Awakening, again. I’m the guy with a collar who vibes on Fierce Conversations and Adaptive Leadership. Those passions of mine are important to me and so they will find their voices in my writing.
Almost two years ago, I I traded in my Subaru for a Mazda 6. I decided I wasn’t going to live seven hours away from the person I loved. I wanted to get a deeper understanding of who I am supposed to be in my ministry and more broadly in my life. I’m restless, remember. Then, thank God, I had one of the best yet most emotional years of my life. I got to serve St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Lewisburg, PA as their Interim Priest. My soul was revived and required me to now dig even more deeply.
Now, I’m musing here:
I work at the corner of Pine and Market Streets in Danville, PA – Christ Memorial Episcopal Church. It’s an excellent Christian Community (church). They are fine people – maybe too insular but we’re working on that. The fact is, especially in this day and age in mainstream denominational Christianity, that I’m quite blessed. These are odd, expensive, and turbulent times in The Church and our world. I’m fortunate to have a full-time priestly gig as is my spouse. Howie is doing his priestly thing up the highway about 11 miles in Bloomsburg @ Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. We tried writing a blog together. That lasted for about two posts.
I’ve decided I’m going to muse out loud again, virtually. For the record, I tweet at @EDSJim . Here’s the thing though. One hundred and forty characters aren’t enough for me. Twitter is cool for quick thoughts and sharing smart people’s thoughts and passions. And, there isn’t enough space for adverbs. I love adverbs, tremendously. I also enjoy expanding upon my thoughts, hopefully somewhat eloquently.
My purpose here then is to muse about events, concepts, and steps along my pilgrimage that readers will enjoy and perhaps desire to converse about from time to time. My defined goals are not too extreme. I intend to limit my words to less than 1000. I intend to post something on the blog twice a week. The subtext to my purpose and these goals is to connect my preaching and teaching, and sacramental work with my writing. I want this space to be faithful, recreational, and provocative.
I hope my musings will be amusing as well as meaningful. I invite you to join me to muse along with me. Who knows how long this will last or what it means.
Blessings along The Way, Jim