Merianna Neely Harrison I was sitting on our back porch a few nights ago, watching the puppies sniff the wind and smile. I knew that the cool breeze meant that summer was fading away. There was certainly something inside of me that sighed with disappointment that we have to get back into a routine in which bedtime has to be stuck to and lazy summer nights are gone. There was another side of me that sighed with relief as I felt the cool breeze, a relief from 110 degree days and long, hot runs.

This is the first fall in twenty-nine years that I won’t be in a classroom (do you think that will last?) as either a teacher or student and thus marks the shift from student to minister more fully in my mind. The shift is even more evident to me as I watch the yellow school bus roll down the road full of kids and then see my car sitting in the driveway, resting after so many weeks upon weeks of commuting.

Just as my seminary professors prophesied, my days and weeks are already full to the brim. The time spent sitting in three-hour classes has already been filled. But along with a full schedule, I also have a full heart as I await what the fall breeze has in store. The rhythm of ministry is different than the rhythm of teaching and learning. There is an unexpectedness that is constantly right around the corner. Plans are made to be modified and adjusted to walk or meander alongside seeking evidence of the divine in daily life and hoping for revelation.

I put my nose to the wind and smile just like the pups.

Merianna Neely Harrelson is pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Fellowship, Lexington, South Carolina. This post first appeared on her blog