I’ve moved from dry dusty plains to lush greenery and lovely blooms. There are mountains and tree canopies and birds of every color. Our new house is big enough for me to have some privacy and my wife to have her own office. My office is no longer a cubicle, but large enough for me to pace about.
My new church has some pretty old people, but they are very interesting—lots of literate, educated folks, which is new for me. They were rough on the last preacher, but they feel pretty bad about it and are determined to be nicer to the new one (that would be me).
In an atmosphere of appreciation, I’m a better minister overnight. They marvel at how quickly I picked up their names. They love to hear me sing. And my preaching is brilliant—okay, maybe they didn’t say that last part.
But I’m really doing a better job here. I’m thinking straighter and my mind has gotten more nimble, like it used to be.
They say my style makes them feel like I’ve opened up the windows and let in the fresh air and light.
It’s the honeymoon stage, I know. But I didn’t have one in the last church, where people curled their lips when I greeted them. So I’m grateful, even though this work will have its frustrations soon enough.
In fact, as I walked beneath the pine trees on a path that’s just a hundred yards from my house, I kept breathing the same word.