January 8, 2015

What I've learned from ten years as a priest

Ten Things I Learned Over the Past Ten Years
*ordained to the priesthood on January 8, 2005
  at St. James Episcopal Church, Conroe, TX

10. Way deep down, in an often bizarre way, almost everyone is rooting for you.

9. A decent homily skirts the bounds of good taste and propriety and tears open the heart of the matter to show God loose in the world. This happens all the time, yet hardly ever. It requires no apology.

8. If you give it enough attention, Scripture will come at you in a whole new, dangerous, and interesting way every day of your life.

7. Have you heard that whole ordination-sermon thing about "Just being who you are, and that's enough"? Turns out it's true.

6. Often, the phrase "I don't know" is the most helpful thing you can say. Especially if you really don't know. "Learn to labor, and to wait."

5. What Merton said about the broken bread on the paten is true: that those who find themselves standing over it, looking at it, also discover that Christ uses it to "develop himself into our lives like a photograph." I'm sure the same is true for those who receive the bread of life in kind.

4. Marriages, baptisms, and funerals are not "a pain to do." It is a deep privilege to be associated with families and providing care during the most important moments of people's lives.

3. Tending to obligations "outside" the job is just as holy, if not more, and very often saves our lives and our sanity.

2. If you wait long enough, eventually you'll get the story.

1. God became truly human and one with us, so that we could become one with God.

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