Definitely a long day stuck at work today. I'm glad I brought running gear along! I've been pretty crabby all day, partly because I'm tired, partly because I have too much on my mind, and partly because I'm stuck at a meeting tonight while Matt gets to hang out with friends of ours from college in the city.
As far as the "too much on my mind" part of the equation, I'm trying to figure out what an ideal balance is, for a church, between a) leading by building on the passions and energy of the congregation (instead of forcing the congregation to fit a particular mold of programs and activities), and b) leading by pushing, educating, and directing the congregation in ways that they might never have thought of on their own. It's the tension between serving the congregation humbly and leading the congregation as I have been equipped, educated, and - ultimately - called to do. I want the church to be organic in many ways - that is, letting the identity of the church and its priorities grow out of the energy of the congregation. But at the same time, I want to be able to nudge the congregation in things that are important and have goals and visions for the future of the community's life together.
These voices in my head became particularly acute during worship planning today, when we tried to figure out what to do come January, if we want to celebrate the midweek feast of Epiphany on a Sunday, if possible. The conversation had little, if anything, to do with liturgical integrity (which would say that Epiphany is on a Thursday, and so if we want to celebrate Epiphany, we do a special service on that Thursday night, and catch whomever we happen to catch). It had everything to do with convenience (when the choirs were available to sing, when we would switch over from our Advent/Christmas liturgy to a new setting, when people would be back in town after Christmas, and whether people would ever come out on a Thursday - the assumption being a big fat NO on that one). And so we're shuffling Baptism of our Lord a week later so that we can squeeze Epiphany onto a Sunday so that no one is disappointed, because of course, they will only come to worship on Sundays, and we don't want them to be frustrated.
Anyway, the point here is that by late afternoon, I was so muddled and frustrated that I was glad to be able to head out for a jog. I only intended to go about 2.5 miles, but ran into one of my HS kids as I was running, took a break to walk with him for a bit, and then felt guilty about walking, so kept running past where I had intended to turn around. Not really my best move. I walked a lot today. I covered a lot of ground, but not particularly well.
Nevertheless, it felt good to be outside (can I say again how much I love running on cool weather??), I feel happier and more balanced than I did when I started, and, for whatever it's worth, I covered the distance of a 5k today, so I know that I can do it in another week, even if I can't manage to run the whole thing without stopping.