The Joy of Jury Duty

I will report this morning as a possible entrant for juror service. I’ve watched the orientation video. I’m wearing a polo (gross).

It’s very possible I will walk in and sit for a while and then will be dismissed.

It’s also possible I get picked as a juror and have to serve for $12 a day and could be done this evening.

I could also get picked and spend up to a week on this case.

There’s always a chance I could be picked as a juror for a major situation and this just becomes my life for a bit. Slim, but possible.

This will likely be the last that you hear about it given courtroom confidentiality. Regardless of that, the very concept of the infamous jury duty has me waxing on one of my very favorite philosophical ideas. It will likely come up often on this blog, as it’s become a mantra of mine.

Ichi-go, Ichi-e.

Roughly: one time, one meeting.

This quick and catchy Japanese idiom refers to the reality that there is no such thing as an ordinary moment. The mundane doesn’t exist.

Each moment presents new opportunities and new potential. My summons for consideration for the jury is a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

Wait - I know what you’re thinking: Nathan, you could receive a summons again at any time.

Yes. But it’s not this time.

This is the only time right now where I have received a jury summons at this age in this place in life. I have my Board of Ordained Ministry continuance interview on Thursday. The potential for a week-long jury service is stressing me out with the conflict between those two expectations put upon me. This is the only time where I have plans for a long weekend trip to the beach with my gorgeous wife and family before we welcome our second child. This is the only work week where I am missing Friday for a trip and now missing at least my Tuesday for jury consideration.

These all are coming across as negatives - likely due to my stress - but the truth is that they aren’t inherently negatives; they’re the nuance of this situation.

Today is the one time for this one meeting in this one place for this one thing. It’s the only time this will ever happen.

Something similar may happen in the future, sure. But this exact moment will never pop up again. I can choose to let it pass me by or I can do my best to experience the moment. To take in my surroundings. To smell the stale carpet of the waiting room. To meet my fellow peers being considered.

Let’s just hope beyond hope that this one moment only lasts for today.

But, if it doesn’t…

Ichi-go, Ichi-e.


March 15th, 2022