I have been in a place of discernment lately. At 45 years old, I’ve been asking myself this question: where do I see myself in 5 years? Well, I don’t exactly know. I have an inkling, but not sure. It’s more than a physical place, it’s who am I called to be.
What I do know is this: I am called to be a pastor. I love coaching cross country, I love being with students, I love seeing folks connect and become friends…some even dream some big dreams together, I love being present in our communities, etc. But, all of those things can be summed up by saying that I love people. I really do.
Yes, sometimes I get tired and I need to take my “extrovert/introvert” (or “ambervert”…new word that my friend Kevin Rains said of me.) self out of the social picture and get re-energized or be around a solid small group of people that give me energy. But, I genuinely love people and want to be authentic in that love.
I understand that love for people coming from a love from and through God. I don’t understand God or how or why God is and does…but, I know that this God is not me, but lives in and through me. This God gives me purpose and calls me to my “true self” (see Thomas Merton and/or Parker Palmer). This “true self” is found in my identity in Jesus. I am a Jesus-follower and through Jesus I find hope and a desire to love folks and build community with them.
What I know I’m not about is loving others with an agenda. I’m sorting that out in all sorts of places and relationships these days. I’ll keep you posted on that one.
We (the Church) are called to love the world. The church does not exist to perpetuate its self, but to give it’s self away to the world. We are called to band together to bear witness and to serve (“love”) the world around us. Without condemnation (see John 3:17). God calls us into action.
I love being a pastor in this kind of church mindset. Who knows where God is taking me, but I’m wide open!