In the few months immediately after graduating from Houghton, I had several "odd" jobs, including sample lady at Sam's Club (where I was the youngest by nearly 40 years) and pretzel sorter at a chocolate factory (I'm not exaggerating folks...).  Even working at M&T as a customer service rep seemed like one long odd job because I disliked it so intensely.

This pastor thing is different.  It's odd, but not because I haven't got enough gray hair to qualify or because I have a college degree or because it's so terrible customers make me cry at least once a week.

It's odd because there's a level of authority that goes with the job/calling/vocation/whatever that I'm not comfortable owning.

It's odd because people expect me to know things about life and God, things I'm not sure I'll ever be able to speak about with any confidence.

It's odd because most people seem to be under the impression that we (the staff) sit around in our offices all week and then do the real work on Sunday.

It's odd because a premium is placed on everything remaining the same from day-to-day, week-to-week, year-to-year.  Of course, this particular oddity isn't the exclusive territory of the religious.  Most of us don't want things to change.  Routine is easy, comfortable, reassuring... addictive.

This Sunday, I'll be standing in front of the congregation offering the prayers of the people and giving the children's sermon.  The novelty of my presence will be interesting to some, but it won't even matter to others.  What will matter is that I'm standing in the right place, following the right format, and wearing the right clothes.

No judgment, my life is full of routine and lacking in spontaneity.  I'm just wondering what it would take for all of us to break this addiction or if it's even necessary to do so.  Is religion the one area of life in which we should be the most conservative, the most routine?  Or is it odd that we try to keep it as similar as possible from generation to generation?
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