Harvey Byrne entered and sat down. The two looked at each other in silence. Elvis noticed how old Harvey looked. Older that his fifty-seven years.
“Know how long I’ve been doing this?” said Harvey.
“Care to guess?”
Elvis sighed. The last thing he wanted was a game. “I have no idea.”
“Twenty-seven years. All at this church. I’ve served under three Senior Pastors,” said Harvey. “You got run over tonight. What’d you learn?”
“What do you mean, learn? This isn’t seminary.”
“No, it isn’t. This is the learning that matters,” said Harvey.
“Gimme a break,” said Elvis. He rubbed his hands over his face. “This is so stupid.”
Harvey shook his head. “This is how things work in the real world. In the real world you have pastors and deacons and nosy people who annoy you with things that probably aren’t worthy of your attention. But they are worthy of your attention because they care about them. They care, so you care.”
Elvis looked at Harvey in desperation. “Is that what I’m supposed to learn?”
“It’s one of the lessons, but the most important thing you have to learn is this: long after you’ve left this church, folks like Harland and Nathaniel will still be here. This is their church, and you have to consider their opinion,” said Harvey.
“Why tell me this?” asked Elvis.
“Like I said, I’ve been here a long time. I don’t need the drama. Play the game and everything’ll run smoothly.”
Elvis hit his hands on his desk. “But I’m a theologian,” he vented.
“Now you’re a politician. Welcome to ministry,” said Harvey with a smirk.