Today was our final area clergy cluster gathering. Well, my final one. I think it was really intended to be their big kick-off for their year of monthly meetings. And the new intern at the church in Neighboring Podunk was introduced. She goes to my seminary, and is a year behind me, so that made it kind of weird. But her internship hasn't officially started yet, so I don't feel quite that deficient anymore.
So after breakfast and after our meeting, which mainly consists of going around and each gathered person shares a bit about how things are going at their church and andy personal news they feel like sharing, we broke up into our different activity groups for the day. Most of them went golfing. A few may have gone shopping. Four of us went bike riding. It was Glasses, Liberal Woman, myself and another pastor who I am acquainted with but don't really know enough to come up with a nickname for him, and he doesn't really factor into this story much so I don't need to give him one. [editor's note: i feel the need for a disclaimer. Glasses Pastor and Liberal Woman Pastor were named a few weeks into my knowing of them. They were thus named because those were the distinguishing characteristics that jumped out at me at that point. I have since gotten to know them much better and like them a whole heckuva lot, and so I feel like the nicknames are kind of lame. Glasses Pastor is a very nice, compassionate, witty, humorous and great man. Who just happens to have relatively thick lenses in his glasses. Liberal Woman Pastor is an amazing, compassionate, principled and outspoken pastor who happens to be liberal and female. Both of them are far more than what their nicknames suggest. Just keep that in mind, okay?]
After breakfast we changed into our biking clothes, got our bikes ready and then took off. We took backroads and were enjoying a leisurely time. I was the least experienced cyclist out of the group. Glasses is a very avid biker, owns several different bikes and lots of biking paraphanelia. In fact, most of the stuff I was using today was borrowed from him. Liberal Woman has started riding bikes more often with Glasses and is really starting to get into it. The other guy used to run but had issues with his knees and so he is transitioning into biking. Anyway, three miles into our ride we're going down this hill and I'm starting to pick up a lot of speed. I start braking slightly, hoping to slow down at least a little bit. The other guy and I were a fair distance behind Glasses and Liberal Woman when, apparently, Glasses' foot came off his pedal, he lost his balance and crashed.
If we had had a video camera with us, this crash looked like something that we could have submitted to ESPN for their Agony of Defeat video clips. Glasses lost his balance, fell down on his right side, tucked and rolled, the bike flipped over him and he skidded for at least ten feet on the pavement. He immediately sat up and was able to get up and walk around. He had abrasions on his left leg, both arms, the knuckles on his left hand and his back and a puncture wound on his right thigh. He seemed to think that he was goo enough to continue riding, though, so after giving him time to recover we all mounted our bikes and continued riding for ten more miles.
Coincidentally, his wife happens to work right next door to where we had breakfast. So when we returned to the parking lot, he ran into a coworker of his wife who was heading for lunch. She told him that his wife was alone in the office, so he could stop in and tell her what had happened. When we got in there, Glasses says to his wife, "Well, I'll ask you, since you have some medical background. What should I do if my collar bone really, really hurts?" She recommended going to the ER. He said that he probably would, but once we got outside he wanted to go to lunch. We put the bikes back into the vans, then we went in to change clothes. He realized that it was worse than he thought when he couldn't lift his arms up to take his shirt off.
Anyway, to make a long story short, we took him to the ER. His wife, who he had told didn't need to worry and could stay at work, ended up coming to the ER, as well. They took him up to get x-rayed and found a nondisplaced hairline fracture, or two. So now his arm is in a sling.
So Liberal Woman and I left before they started to clean out his abrasions. We decided we didn't need to be there for that. And we went out for lunch. Glasses was disappointed, he had just gotten done telling me on the way to the ER how this group of pastors in this area really kind of claim the intern as theirs, even though the intern is just at one congregation. And that they were really going to miss me. I think he had wanted to take me out for lunch, but due to circumstances, was unable to do so.
Anyway, I have to go and get ready for my final church council meeting tonight. Oh, and just because I know you're interested, here's the list of things I have left to do:
- 1 church council meeting
- 1 more Sunday
- 1 more sermon
That's all, folks! I still cannot believe it.