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May 9, 2023

Dear friends,

The other day, while speaking with a friend about the busyness of our respective calendars, she said, “It's May Madness, right?” That is a term I had not heard before, but absolutely understand. I tend to structure my calendar around major events in our lives. I call them mile-markers, to use a racing analogy. It could be a performance my kids are doing, a trip we are excited to take, a major event at church, or a deadline for a multi-month project. As I am structuring around these mile markers mentally, like in a race, I think I that if I can just make it to the next one, then that accomplishment will propel me to the next one. But in May, it seems like all the mile-markers are bunched in together. Everything is happening all at once as the school year closes, and we are getting ready for summer, but I look at the summer calendar, and it is just as busy!

I’ve wondered about this over the past few years as we have been wondering, when are people going to come back to church after the pandemic. What I’ve observed is that the profound psychological effect of having everything taken away has made us all try and do more and more, so in our “regular” lives we have added more and more mile-markers. And as any racer will tell you, once you’ve set your pace, it is hard to change it, faster or slower.

This is one reason I try and hold back from being busy for busyness’ sake and calling it ministry. Faith is a practice, and I believe what we are trying to do is teach people how to integrate faith into every aspect of their lives more so than being another mile-marker in the race. It is a centered life. There can still be frenzied seasons, but I try in my own life for frenzied existence to take the place of our center. This may make me boring sometimes, but that is okay. I encourage us all to find that center, especially in May Madness, or whatever madness we find ourselves in, and walk with the grace of God that never leaves us.



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