In my journey I tried to let go of a lot of things and God would not let me. YASO, LifeBridge and other things keep plugging along.
There is one thing that I need to let go of and that is the collar and the title of pastor. To those who are close to me, I am sorry that I did not tell you. This decision had to be mine and mine alone. It was done with a lot of reflection and meditation and prayer. Part of the reason I did not tell them is that they would have told me not to and in some cases I would have to open up dark recesses of things I carry with me that are the business of me, God and my therapist.
The funny thing is, as I make this decision, my faith is more whole now than it ever has been. I am in the midst of a restoration process in my life and I see and feel grace and love even when I do not want it. I see the Imago Dei in the messiest of lives as well as the most clean of lives. I believe in the church now more than I ever have. I believe in the beauty of the hard core recesses of religion as defined by James (Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.) I have said it before….the church (as in people) is what you need to see God in the cancer, the cloudy days, the projectile vomiting children, divorce, poverty and other things that are less than sunsets, rainbows, babies, puppies and pristine beaches.
Why am I doing this? Because there are lines that you should not cross as a human being and expect to be in charge. Because there are times where you are so down that you need to be more a part of the body than the leader of the body. Because I know I need to if I want to preserve me. I need to let go of the pride and the position.
With this change of designation comes a deeper heart for the church and a richer involvement with God.
For the curious and those who like to find fault and dig up dirt…here are the bones I will throw at you. I have not broken any laws. When I speak of hurting people it was never in the office of ministry and role of pastor…it was always in my personal life. I have a daughter who I value more than anything who is hurt because her daddy left. Beyond that…I will let your imaginations flow. If you love me, my life is your business in the covenant of friendship, but if you are an onlooker…it’s none of your business and there is no need for anyone in my family or sphere of life to further be affected. Anyone who has been through a divorce will know that there are two sides to every story and there is a perspective it is viewed through. In the early going it was easy to tell my side of the story, but that had to end and it ended fast. There is a narratives or three floating out there about me and I will never address them except when slanderous or libelous and that is done privately.
My priority right now has to be on working through my therapy to be a better me. I also need to focus on being a dad.
There is also a matter of a paycheck. I kinda need one of those right now. I am broke. How broke? You know those people that are a paycheck away from homelessness? I am closer to the line than that. The good news is I have options and good people who are willing to take this broken man in.
I think I should be afraid, but I am not. The therapy is working in recalibrating my thoughts as is my faith.
So what of LifeBridge? We will still meet as I said in my last blog entry…but we will be a community and I will be a part of that precious and lovely community.
Someday, when the time is right, I think I would like to wear collar again and be a preacher man…but that day is not today. I have more important work to do…
-as a man
-as a daddy
-as a disciple
-as a member of the church that all seven billion of us are
This is not the last blog. There is still a LifeBridge and a YASO and in the future there will be other things that I will likely be part of.
Part of…not in charge. I am not a servant leader now…just a servant…and it feels good.
I stand behind everything I have taught the last five years and I stand behind the vision for church we have crafted. Felt that was kinda important to say.
I dunno how to close this…so I am gonna shut up now and click publish.