Sunday, July 3, 2011

One More Year...

There's a story from Greek mythology about the warrior Odysseus (of "The Odyssey" fame) and his encounter with the Sirens of the sea. As his ship neared the place where the Sirens (women with beautiful voices who lured unsuspecting sailors to shipwreck on their island) where rumored to be, Odysseus ordered his men to stuff their ears with wax (so they wouldn't hear the Sirens' song) and tie Odysseus to the mast, so he could hear the Sirens, but couldn't escape. When he heard the song, he implored his men to let him go free, but they did not, ensuring that the ship continued on to its destination.

One year from today, in fact one year from this moment, I will have just finished my first Sunday in my new appointment. That's my vision, and I believe that's God's vision, as well. I've realized over the past few days that I have spent the past 15 years trying to talk myself out of a call to parish ministry. I have certainly begun the journey to return to being a pastor, but the next year (especially the next five months, when I need to take certain steps to go off leave, to meet with my District Superintendent, to get on the appointment list, to update my pastor profile, etc) will be crucial. I will get cold feet. I will hear the Sirens singing to me of extension ministries, of another year of family leave, of all sorts of other options besides my intended destination. I will hear them singing warnings about all the pain, heartbreak, and frustration of local church ministry. I will hear them singing about how I can't do it, how I'm not good enough...and if I allow myself to get distracted by those songs, I will shipwreck and never arrive at my destination.

So...I'm asking for you to journey with stuff your ears with wax, to tie me to the mast, and to keep rowing past the Sirens. And when I express my doubts and fears, remind me of our final destination and don't untie me until we arrive.

One more year...I am excited and nervous and terrified all at once.

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