Last weekend my colleague Elaine Boomer and I went to Grand Lake, Colorado near Rocky Mountain National Park, before the Leadership in Ministry workshop we both teach in. In Grand Lake, the weather was much colder than usual, with some snow in the mountains the first morning, and snow in Grand Lake the second morning. Trail Ridge Road, which runs through the park, was closed. We drove as far as we could, which was right up to the Continental Divide, and took a little hike. Even a short hike on a rocky trail at 10,000 feet takes some doing, at least for me. I had to pay attention to my feet, my body and the environment.
At the workshop, I heard stories about unexpected and sometimes frustrating events in ministry. I saw the thoughtful way these clergy are seeking to respond to the challenges they face, by working out how to manage themselves in the midst of the ups and downs of ministry. Perhaps ministry is like a continual hike on the Continental Divide. Keeping your footing means paying attention to yourself, what’s around you and what’s ahead, all at the same time.