I'm home from the reunion I attended this weekend. It was a wonderful event. I was able to reconnect with old friends. Children who hadn't even been born when I last saw them are now off to college. I was able to sit and worship without any responsibilities, a wonderful gift.
A friend who was minister of music in a neighboring community back in my Inner City days was there to lead the music, and introduced us to some wonderful new hymns. Because these were friends from my Inner City days, I found myself reflecting on those days and remembering things that happened there. After 17 years, the pain is not as great.
My friends thought I looked great-- they confessed that they had worried about me back then. I think they were pleasantly surprised that I am healthy, happy, and enjoying ministry. Many pastors leave the ministry within their first five years. I think that this program and group were a big part of the reason I was able to survive and continue. We'd all experienced pain, and those of us who attended are all still engaged in some form of ministry.