Monday, December 18, 2006

I'm kicking my tires and checking my oil ...

Illinois? Missouri? Indiana? Wisconsin? Florida? They are all on the current short list.

Where am I going to live? It has been many years since I seriously asked this question. Sure, there was a time or two while living in our current dwelling that I considered other opportunities. While I did take them seriously none of them seemed to be a place or a situation God was directing me to.

This is different. I know that I have completed my call here. After 3 weeks of reflection and seeking God's heart I am firmly convinced that I began in this town on the day God wanted me to begin here. March 26, 1983. Furthermore, I believe that my last day serving here was the day God determined would be my last day. November 26, 2006. I am held to this town by one thing. I own a home here. Ok, two things. My wife works nearby. Oh right, three things. Family lives nearby. (Specifically a precious daughter, a fantastic son-in-lawy, the most beautiful granddaughter on the planet, a brother-in-law and a sister-in-law.) Wait, four things. God's given me a few life-long friends here that it will be tough to say good-bye to. But I look at the questions differently today than I did in the recent and not so recent past. I am fully aware that God is sending me to a new assignment. And I do not know where. As tied to this place as I am by real estate, Debbie's occupation and, most importantly, family and friends, I have to place all considerations secondary to the will of God. He has made it clear that I may be remaining in the general surroundings of this metropolitan area. It is a distinct possibility. But there are other distinct possibilities too. I do not feel any pressure at all because the decision is not mine. The decision is God's.

And this is a decision He has not yet revealed to me.

Several people have asked me if I am stressing over not knowing what comes next. The answer is "no." Not at all. Not even a little bit. The moment I finished my most recent assignment I felt the pleasure of God rest upon me through His Holy Spirit like I have not felt it in a long time. That makes no sense. It is illogical. But then God generally makes no sense and is most often illogical. So why should I be surprised?

You know what I feel? I feel honored. This may make no sense to you but that is ok. It makes sense to me and that is enough for now. I feel honored that God would ask me to trust Him at such a level that it would require me to resign from my long held ministry position with absolutely no clue as to what comes next. I feel honored that He would think that just maybe I would trust Him enough to do that. I feel honored that He has given me this Christmas season to totally skip all musicals, meetings, parties and everything else that has been such a part of my past 2.3 decades. While those are all excellent things they do begin to wear on a pastor. I have learned that Christmas is more fun NOT being a pastor than it is being a pastor. I have read approximately 25% of the bible in the last 3 weeks. I have spent countless hours alone with God. I have sung to Him and He has been kind enough to listen which simply cannot be a pleasant experience. I have shared many evenings alone with my lovely bride just enjoying her. We have worshipped with a lot of people that we do not know and they have all been very gracious to us. I actually purchased some Christmas music this year. I never purchase Christmas music. Something must be going on in my heart! My new pastor took me to lunch last Wednesday and we spent 2 hours just talking. I already knew him (slightly) but I did not know that I would like him as much as I do. He knows that my time at his church will be short. And you know what he told me? He told me to rest. He told me to come when I am up to it, to visit other churches when I want to and ... in a very gracious way ... he told me to feel free to stay at home, sleep in and major on just healing and getting well when that is what I need to do. Do you know how that made me feel? Honestly? I felt like I was having lunch with Jesus. My new pastor was Jesus with skin on to me. He even picked-up the check.

It feels good to feel good. I know, I know. That is redundant. But if you have ever felt really bad and I mean REALLY bad in a scary way, you know what I mean. Sometimes lately I just sit down and revel in the reckless joy of knowing Abba has His hands under, above and around my family and I. Sometimes I just feel free in a way that I have not felt in a very long time. I suspect that it may be something like a soldier feels when his tour of duty is over. Certainly not that dramatically but I think there is a parallel. And honestly, sometimes I feel totally wasted and junky. Occasionally when I take a nap in the afternoon (you can do that if you are unemployed!) I wake up feeling really strange. Other worldly. And the most annoying thing is that my left eye decides to rebel in those moments. it goes all blurry and all foggy. I do not understand that. I remember some similar things happening when I was ill in 2001. This is pretty much the same. I'll go to my big kahoona eye doctor in January if it is not better. And I've got this lump on my left elbow that keeps filling up with blood. They gave me meds to try to fix it and it did not work. But what it did do is mess me up because the new meds did not like my old meds. I really do not think I am old enough to be taking 14 pills a day. FOURTEEN! My next door neighbor is 87 and he is pill-less. I take more pills than my 15 year old friend Ashley did when she had leukemia. Kind of ridiculous, wouldn't you say? 5 years ago I was a work-out-aholic. I miss my daily runs. Turns out that adrenaline is important and when you burn yours all up ... you are going to feel an "owwie." And you are going to take pills. Yum.

Oh well. That's just a me update. Some of you have been asking what's going on in our lives. This was the best way I could think of to answer. It occurs to me that it might just be one big whine. If so ... sorry. But it is, after all, MY BLOG!

Comedy is tragedy with distance. Next year ought to be hilalrious.


Anonymous said...


Have ya considered... Iowa?


Anonymous said...

It is all good