I’ve written and spoken on the whole issue of ‘change’ at pretty consistent intervals. My take is that change is inevitable and that too much resistance to the whole notion just throws our lives and the lives of those closest to us into upheaval. Change doesn’t necessarily have to become our friend but at the very least we have to look at change as being a potential ally, not always an enemy.
I’m in the midst of change. If you read my blog regularly you know that I decided to make a fairly significant adjustment to my ministry and income. Of course, it wasn’t a decision made by myself. Anita was on board and other wise people were invited to chime in. God, I believed, was asking me to step out of the boat and onto the water.
It’s interesting. Despite the call of God, despite the confirmation by other people of faith, and the firm assurances of my wife/best friend I find myself with a variety of conflicting emotions after actually living in the worlds of urban ministry and suburban church for just a few days.
Here’s what happening. I’m out of my comfort zone, away from patterns of how best to use time, thrust into a brand new world where I don’t know the personalities, the humor, and the history of relationships. In addition my interaction patterns with colleagues and ministry partners within the church are being altered. And to be honest it’s all a bit disconcerting. Not bad. In most ways, expected. But it’s different. It’s going to take awhile to figure things out, to know my place, to become a value added, and to find the right rhythm.
If anything, the first few days have led to a healthy place of ‘brokenness’. There’s this realization that there’s a lot I don’t have much control over. It’s like God is doing something to re-form me. That’s encouraging. It means God isn’t done with me yet. He still sees the possibilities for my life.
One of the interesting pieces of the puzzle is that I feel like I’m in the midst of a spiritual battle. There’s been a fair amount of e-mail, phone calls, and discussion lately that have been difficult and to be honest – somewhat discouraging. The Enemy has consistently used discouragement over the years to take the wind out of my sails and have me question the value of my ministry and my call. The good news is that I know this. Even writing these words strengthens my resolve because I know who I battle and the tactics aren’t unfamiliar.
Now, I know this is a bit melancholy. Don’t worry. I’m OK. I believe that God didn’t call me with the intent to hurt me. No, I think he wants to use me still in both the church that still supports me and the urban ministry that will help shape the next chapter of my life.
I find it fascinating that whenever I step into change how much really happens inside me as I make the outside transition. It’s a reminder to give thanks for the good work God has already done in me. And it’s a heads up to my ego when I come to the realization that there is so much more God wants to do. I think that means that He’s still rather fond of me.
So, the step into my future has begun. Let’s see what God does with all of this, huh?