Last Thursday I celebrated my 32nd Birthday. It was a pretty good day (besides the funeral I had to officiate at in the morning) and I got some nice stuff... clothes, a crock pot, a one cup coffee maker to replace the one I wore out, music! Gary brought me out to Macaroni Grill for dinner and made me a strawberry cake... yum!
Turning 32 was not the emotional upheaval that turning 30 had been. For some reason reaching 30 signified the beginning of 'real' adulthood. Being 30 meant that I was supposed to be responsible, grown-up, and have it all figured out. Well, I've realized that life is just not like that whether your 25, 30 or 32. I'm still waiting for some major life plan to be revealed to me ~ in a vision, in a dream ~ but until that happens, I'm going to try to life as faithfully and joyfully as possible.
I did receive a validation of my youth via e-mail this week when I was invited to a gathering of young clergy. The Bishop has invited us to our Conference Retreat center for a meal and conversation. Apparently he wants to hear about our hopes, dreams and concerns. I'm glad that I still qualify as young clergy.... but considering that the average age of clergy in our Conference is something like 55, I'm not too surprised. When I began serving my first church I was 25 and most likely the youngest clergy in our conference. A first career clergy-person is pretty much an anomaly here these days, while in my Grandfather's day as a minister in the Maine Conference, it was the norm ~ and he was the exception as a second-career clergy.
I'll let you know how the gathering goes ~ it isn't until April 17th. And at least I am still considered young in the eyes of some.... maybe that means I have a few more years to get it all figured out.