"You May Have Changed... But The World Hasn't"

I've just returned from a 72 Hour Spiritual Renewal weekend where I was a spiritual director.  During the weekend we cloister away ( a good monastic practice) from the world and spend time together in prayer, reading scripture etc.   One of the ways that we help the participants "re-enter" the world on Sunday afternoon is to tell them that the world they left is still there.  There are still the problems they faced on Thursday when they came to the retreat, and more than likely they'll confront them again on Monday, if not before.

So, after a glorious weekend on the retreat, I'm headed back home and stop at a small eating establishment to grab a bite (never mind that I probably stored away enough calories this weekend for the entire 2008-09 Fall Season).  

It was only myself and three others in this restaurant.  After ordering my meal I sat down on the far side of the room, but I could hear their conversation going on very loudly.  
  • It seems as if these people were talking about their church. 
  •  They had some guest speaker today, and blah blad blah. 
  •  Then they talked about calling a former minister to inform them that one of the members had died.   They really liked this guy!
  • They begin to measure the minstry of another minister's  work (he's no longer there )and I heard a few less than kind words said about him.  
  • Then one waxed on how long the current minister had been there (7 years is a long time).. but he'll only be here 3 more.   He thought it was time for him to go!
  • This is where it gets good.  They begin to rag on the current guy.  "All he wants to do is make a name for himself. He just wants to build a building... The old building is fine--what do we need a new building for?"
I had to chuckle.  These three customers were local parishoners at the catholic church (they said so themselves).  I laughed and laughed and then thought of the words we just told the pilgrims-"You may have changed--but the world hasn't"  How true, how true!

And I only thought Baptist people talked about their ministers!  Welcome home Jim!