Sitting in the beautiful Kellogg room, we talked about how important it was to be present to the Presence, even amidst all the distractions around us. On “grace-filled cue”, at that very moment, a very large truck came by and filled the room with noise. I, of course, took full advantage and said, “There will always be a lot of noise around us – we are called to be present to God’s Presence.”
A few short hours later, “cloistered” away from the joyous ruckus that was going on just down the hallway, we spent most of our time in quiet, at times silence. As we ended our final prayers, I once again invited them to be present to the moment that was to take place, and to hold holy silence.
Standing now some 100 feet behind a gregarious group of clergy, all those behind me were not distracted by the noise, but rather present to God’s presence and all that was before them.
Holy moments can often be lost on all sorts of details and distractions. It is so easy to get caught up in what cries the loudest for our attention, rather than staying focused on the small, quiet voice that calls our name. Through the years, many a clergy have confessed to me that Sunday morning worship is anything but that; they often end up feeling more like an event organizer, rather than the one to invite the gathered to prayer.
Yet, for our incredible 16 newly ordained, even amidst the full gamut of their own emotions and surrounded by the sweet sounds of anxiously awaiting family and friends, they were present to God’s Holy Presence; an experience I pray that will carry them forward as they go forth to a world filled with noise and distractions from that small quiet voice calling their names.