The first time I heard the phrase “trying to change a tire while traveling down the interstate at 70 miles per hour” in reference to what a current situation felt like, I chuckled.
However, it wasn’t long before I knew exactly what it meant and adopted the phrase for my own use through the years.
Recently — as in late September and early October — it truly hit home, even with the words on this page and in this issue. It’s actually quite comical how many times we’ve tweaked, rewritten or completely changed content that started on a page a day or so prior to deadline.
And to have two issues of the paper in a row where updates continued within hours of the paper going to press is quite unusual. It happens from time to time, but rarely back to back.
Still, we worked to provide the most updated information possible in all areas at press time and continued updating the content for the online platforms.
The flow works well, but the constant updates needed for this week’s print issue reminded me of what we are all experiencing in life in general right now.
About the time we think we grasp the latest news or situation happening in our church, the denomination as a whole, with the state Legislature’s recent special session or all that’s going on in Congress, across the U.S. and around the world, something changes.
More chaos breaks out, a new piece of information surfaces or a different expert reports his or her opinion. What was happening with a small group of people behind closed doors slowly leaks out to the public and all accounts are not the same. Before we know it, countless voices are sharing their opinions.
Even determining who to trust brings a level of discouragement. And how exhausting it must be for anyone who has worked through a situation, processed all the data and made a decision only to come in the next day with lots of new information or different information that has surfaced overnight. Or within the hour.
Along with the lack of clarity available in many of the current situations is a fear of how those listening will respond.
Pressure is intense for those in leadership to clearly (and quickly) articulate an answer to whatever crisis has occurred. At the same time, repercussions are swift from those who disagree with the answer provided.
Thinking through and weighing all the what ifs while trying to fully understand an unfamiliar area by absorbing the massive amount of content swirling around would be a lot to shoulder on its own, but it becomes extremely heavy on top of already existing family, church and work responsibilities.
During this chaotic time, a generous gift we can give our pastors and other ministry leaders for Pastor Appreciation Month is a genuine word of encouragement, a kind smile and extra prayers.
While they all aren’t focused on the same concerns or issues, they most likely all are carrying a heavy load and wanting desperately to provide clarity for all of us as they lead.