Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Amazing Gopher Tortoise

The gopher tortoise is a very important part of the local ecology. As in any food web, if you start taking certain flora or fauna out of the equation, then you can adversely affect the survival of that ecosystem. The gopher tortoise is especially important because the burrows, which are dug by the tortoises, also provide homes for other animals, such as indigo snakes, gopher frogs, mice, foxes, skunks, opossums, rabbits, quail, armadillos, burrowing owls, snakes, lizards, frogs, toads and other invertebrates, gopher tortoise burrows are home to about 250 species of animals at one time or another. Some species share the burrows with the tortoises and others utilize abandoned burrows. Since the burrows are used by so many species, it does not take a rocket scientist to see that removing the tortoises from the local habitat would leave many animals without homes. True, some of these animals will be able to relocate, but there are a few species that are found only in these burrows.

How odd that this one turtle has so many things dependent on it? When we think about the path we make in this world, rarely do we think about the people that my come after us. Of course, we consider our children and try to make the world a better place for them. But what if we lived our lives knowing that each thing we do could positively or negatively influence 250 people afterwards?

It makes the decision to return a phone call or take a quick nap more than just a task to check off. It makes you decide priorities. Knowing what my priorities are help me to impact more people in a more efficient way. If I am to love God, love my neighbor, and love myself, then I've got to do things that reach those goals. Perhaps I need a nap today to take care of myself or perhaps I need to love my friend right now by calling her.

So just as the gopher tortoise digs burrows in order to have abundant life, I too must do everything I do with the purpose of having abundant life by sticking to the priorities God teaches me.

Until Everyone Hears

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pastor's 24

A creative pastor from somewhere in the cyber world decided to let everyone know last Wednesday exactly what a pastor does in a 24 hour period. He challenged fellow pastors to join him in Twittering every hour that day (for 24 hours if possible). We were supposed to tweet something that we did that was relating to our job. I joined in with the project and learned a few things along the way.

1) I still do a lot when I work from home. I'm slowly trying to get back into the swing of working while I recover from surgery. I think I could probably fill up all my work hours from home and still not get everything done.

2) Even though I had a lot to do, I still miss seeing people. One person came down to visit me that day and it was great to catch up with her, but there are still so many people I haven't seen and want to talk to. It's definitely not a cube job.

3) My job has no clearly defined boundaries. I had one person call to check on me and I ended up listening to her problems and giving her spiritual advice. The UPS guy delivered something and asked me to add his family to the prayer list. Of course I set boundaries for myself in order to protect my sanity (ie I don't answer the phone during dinner. I carve out family time, GNO, and date nights into the calendar) but things that seem like a friendly conversation to some might seem like they are work to me.

But I know there are still some of you out there that wonder what we do. We really don't work only on Sundays and we do more than prepare sermons (or in my case write curriculum). Most of what I do involves planning events, equipping others to teach, and helping parents be better spiritual role models for their kids. Did I do that on this particular day? I'm not sure. But I gave it my all and at the end of the day felt that I had fulfilled my calling.

Until Everyone Hears,

(Those that participated in the 24 Tweet-off)

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