During my retirement from full time ministry (but not from discipleship), I was a hospice chaplain, I served two churches I love as a bridge associate pastor and a bridge pastor, and I would drive and “preach and run” at various churches on various Sundays.
Last Spring I went through the certification process of being a substitute teacher. I always loved my years in youth ministry (relive my younger days?) and I wanted to support public school educators who face enormous unwarranted pressures.
I read in a devotional that “if you watch the clock for the end of the day, you may not be living your passion”. It dawned on me that I had been watching the clock for the end of EACH HOUR at school! I loved the kids, the staff I worked with, and the incredible ways our schools plan and function, but I missed what is mine to do.
I missed growing in faith with a community. As wisdom reveals: “Spiritual growth is solitary work that cannot be done alone.” While school was out for summer, the Macon Presbyterian Church (my wife’s home/childhood church and the closest “out of town church” to where we live) called me as their part-time pastor. I’m still “retired and not required” but we have a community with whom to serve, teach, and grow in love of God and love of people. This week opens the next adventure of partnership with God and others to reconcile the world.
Now a fifth person told me they missed these reflections and questions. I had thought as long as five people listen, I’ll practice writing some more…. so….
When have you realized that something you were doing was not “yours to do”? What led to that insight? Where have you found that place in your life where “what the world needs and what you love come together”? (@ Frederick Buechner) What is your community of service, support, challenge, change, love?