I looked at the notice in a summer Christian Century. Walter Brueggemann and Barbara Brown Taylor were going to be speaking at at 3–day event in Georgia. Brueggemann’s topic was Jeremiah, and Taylor’s was about spiritual practices.
I remember being intrigued by the opportunity. They are both favorites of mine. But the distance and time made it prohibitive in my mind. So I had dismissed it as an interesting but impossible event.
In August Bev and I celebrated our 39th anniversary in San Francisco. We exchanged gifts to commemorate the event. Her gift came in a shirt box. It was very light, so I had no clue what was in it. When I opened the box I was surprised to find the paperwork and all reservations for the Florida event. So all I had to do was pack my bags and go.
As I write this I am sitting in the airport in Jacksonville, Florida waiting for my connector flight to Houston. The conference is over, and what is left are some notes and a warm glow. The conference was a delight to the mind. Eight hours of lecture gave me much to think about.
More comments will follow in subsequent blog entries. However, the last three days reminded me of the need I have to receive occasional, self-indulgent refreshment like I just received at the feet of Brueggemann and Taylor. It is impossible to provide meaningful ministry on an empty tank.