Titles are funny things. For instance, if one is ordained as a Reverend and then earns a Ph.D or other Doctoral degree, one gets to be known as Rev. Dr. Never Enough. Yes, certainly you are a doctor of theology, dreamology, delusion, or whatever you choose to call it, but you shall always and forever be Reverend first. I have always hated name tags, especially when they include titles. I realize that we have earned them, we have gone to school for a thousand years, and will be paying on the school loan until after we die. A year ago I was rejected for a job in Upstate New York, only to get the next one that came along and I have found contentment. This job comes with a title, Pastor Meg. I certainly have been called worse. With that title comes great responsibility (great movie line, right?)!
My life is no longer my own. I cannot just run into the grocery story anywhere, because I am probably going to run into someone from my congregation, and ducking them is not an acceptable practice. Okay, I might have done it once, twice, no more than a dozen times, I am certain. I only duck out of fear. You see, I have a recurring nightmare that I am out in public without pants, and I am not quite sure how that happened. So until I figure that one out, I shall continue to duck, but I digress.
My life is no longer my own. It is’t okay that I swear, especially in public. People pay attention to the clothes I wear. They comment on them. Sometimes the ladies in my church remind me that I have a new top on. I do not drink anything of the alcoholic variety in public, or at a parishioner’s home. I don’t want to give the wrong impression to anyone. Once people find out what I do for a living, they decide to tel me when was the last time they were in church, the reasons they haven’t been to church and often promise to come and visit. Let me say something about that- don’t promise something just to be nice, becuse I have expectations for people. I expect that if you give me your word, and tell me you are coming for a visit or you are going to do something, you will.
Being a pastor has been one of the most difficult and rewarding things I have ever done in my life. I don’t regret it for a moment. In the 9 months I have been here, I have officiated 6 funerals, and 1 wedding. I know more things about people’s lives than I ever cared to know, things I wish I did not know, but I am honored to be trusted, none the less. People let you into those deep, dark parts of their lives, where no one knows the pain they have experienced, and no one goes without an ingraved invitation.
Please, continue to call me Pastor Meg, for as long as you wish. Some day I might get around to making it Reverend, but then again, maybe not. What’s in a name? Certainly, there is much implied in the title added to mine, and that is okay by me.