The Burden

I have a sense of unease this morning. It’s Tuesday and I am already longing for the weekend. I preached last Sunday and then presided over 3 Charge Conferences, had consultations every hour on the hour yesterday with clergy, plus worked in a few crisis situations; then experienced a great Charge Conference last night. Consultations will begin again in less than 45 miniutes, go all day, then another Charge Conference tonight. I did walk for 45 minutes early this morning in the dark – praying, pondering – trying to give it all to God, but here at the office the dread has come back.

I just reread my testimony in a misconduct trial, and that is what probably pushed me back over to the dark side of pessimism. I’m overcome with sorrow about the state of “affairs” that I have to deal with. Nobody blushes anymore, whether they are lying to my face or hedging the truth. Last night I looked forward to getting home and watching the season premier of one of my favorite TV shows, “House.” The build-up in the paper was well-hyped. It said that it would be another Emmy-winning performance by Hugh Laurie, and finally “he would have a mature relationship with a woman.”
Well, as good as the show was, especially in its plug for good therapy and how to deal with pathological persons, the “mature” relationship House had was with a woman who was married with children. In light of Governor Sanford and the idiocy of adultery (There’s nothing adult about adultery), I am appalled at the lowering of our standards of morality. Manipulation, half-truths, and outright lies have jaded me to expect lesser of people rather than better. My gift of discernment has been in overdrive and it’s wearing me out.
One of the things I did yesterday was read a person’s paper on doctrine and theology. One section was on humanity and the need for divine grace. Sure, we have been made in God’s image: moral, legal, and social; but we have fallen beyond any semblance of self-repair. Total Depravity is total, and only by God’s gace in Jesus can we find salvation.
My prayer for today is to hear truth in every conversation, spoken in love with accountability. As a District Superintendent, I must expect no less if I truly believe that God saves us through Jesus to transform us for the transformation of the world. I long for days of truth-telling seasoned with love and grace; but not “cheap grace” or avoidance.