Monday, August 10, 2015

Back to Normal?

I am finally back home in my basement on my computer writing my blog.  It has been a long time.
And maybe I am getting "back to normal" which is, of course, a "new normal."

First of all, part of my not writing was because I was away at Camp Christian as faculty and director of Advance Conference.  And that was a "new normal."  Advance Conference is designed for 19-29 year olds and they have their own leadership of three "officers" who ask different people to come and be "faculty" for the week.  I have been faculty on and off here for over 15 years.  And the last few years I have served as "co-director" with my dear friend Allen Harris.  Allen has left our region to be the regional minister in the Capitol area so, for this year, it was me alone.  That was different.  We also had a new staff member, Steve, instead of LaTaunya and that was different.  And of course, every year there are different officer to interact with and that is different.

I am a great preacher on change and openness to changed, but like everyone else I really like the comfort of things staying the same.  It was a great week but my responsibilities felt different and I think I came home more tired.  Which is surprising since I did not come home to preach.  But that is how it was.

And I came home to this new family of three - me and Chuck and his son Brian.  We have had to work out how to do the sleeping arrangements here and have finally landed on what I think will work.  But all of it has necessitated the moving of stuff - in and out of the basement and the bedrooms.  At one point my computer had moved into my bedroom and now it is back in the basement and that at least, feels familiar.  The rest of it we are living into. 

Yesterday - the day after camp ended - I drove to Toledo to preach at my friend Mary's church as her mother was dying.  That was a different experience for he - the congregation is hungarian UCC and part of worship was saying the Lord's prayer in Hungarian. (I did not participate in that!) They have communion 7 times a year and wouldn't you know it was yesterday and their communion form is VERY different from the way we Disciples do it.  So, I gamely stepped in for Mary and hopefully did not mess it up too much.

The sermon I preached is about the calling of the disciples and the reality that something happened in the three years that they "apprenticed" with Jesus - they changed from Fishers of Fish to "Fishers of Humanity."  What I lift up in that phrase "I will make you fishers of men" is the words "I will make" because a core belief I have is that following Jesus means that we are allowing him to "make" us something new.  Change us.

And what I believe in my heart of hearts is that  there is a relationship between the internal  changes within us over time and our willingness to live into - (that is, not resist) the external changes of circumstances in our lives - whether it is new leadership in a church, the death of a mother or a new member of our family moving in.  God is doing something with each of us as we trust in his work.

This morning I turned for wisdom to dear Richard Rohr and his daily meditation and found myself reading about Teihard De Chardin.  I ended my sermon yesterday with the reading that I live by: It starts like this

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way
to something unknown, something new.
Yet it is the law of all progress that is made
by passing through some stages of instability
and that may take a very long time.

We are passing through stages of instability right now - but I find comfort in today's meditation where Richard Rohr writes:  "Try, with God's help to perceive the connection - even physical and natural - which binds your labor with the building of the kingdom of heaven; try to realize that heaven itself smiles upon you and through your works, draws you to itself." 

And so, now I am back at it on this blog ruminating and reflecting on the mystery of it alland trusting in the presence of God who brings light into darkness and always his love into every moment of my life.

No comments: