08 December 2009

Why I love rural ministry

I love being a pastor, mostly because I feel called to do this work, but also because I love people.  I especially love small town and rural people.  While they tend to be reserved at times (understatement of the week), I have not been disappointed in finding reasons to smile every day while serving with the people here.

One of my most recent examples of the little joys that keep me smiling is a conversation I had with a farmer the other day.  Our family had briefly stopped at his house to drop something off, and of course had to chat for a few minutes.  Somehow the conversation turned to his cattle (they had just bought some new calves) and he ended up telling me a story of one time that some of his cows got out.  He got a call from someone who said they thought some of his cows were running down the highway into town, 5 miles away!  He said, "No, those can't be mine."  The person asked if he had any cows with white faces and orange ear tags and he sheepishly said, "Yeah."  Sure enough, some of his cows had gone for a run down the highway (right on the centerline, no less) all the way to town, where they were spotted by the elementary school.  He went into town, gathered them up, turned them around, and away they went, running all the way back home, right on the centerline again!  Hearing him tell this story was entertaining enough, but the clincher was when he concluded the story in typical Norwegian farmer deadpan, "Well, at least they didn't go into the school.  That would have been embarassing!"  I just about died laughing.  I love these people!