Saturday, November 13, 2010

Working the Dream, part 3

Another chapter with musings regarding uprooting my life, my family and my career, and moving to pursue music. You are, no doubt, on the edge of your seat, with baited breath, etc., waiting for this next installment.

Cue anti-climax now.

Sure there's been some soul searching. Here's what I've got so far:

1) I don't regret it; I didn't think I would
2) It's a hard adjustment to make (lifestyle, money, etc. have all been significantly impacted)
3) Making connections and networking over a long period of time are how you accomplish things here. I'm not sure if I want to wait that long.

Understand that ministry, as a vocation, is far different from most. You're always "working", although it's really more about who you are than what you do. Your schedule is extremely flexible. I knew this would be drastically altered. I just wasn't sure how much I'd miss it. And, I do. I do miss it. So does my family.

I do not miss not knowing when the other shoe will drop: a criticism coming from seemingly nowhere, people angry at you and you have no idea why, tempest-in-a-teapot controversies that have nothing to do with God, Scripture or why the Church exists. I don't miss that. Neither does my family.

Does the familiarity and the comfort of something make it better for you just because you know it? Most people would say no, but I'm not so sure. Clinging to a spouse, a career or a habit for only the reason that it's the devil you know isn't healthy, but who is to say that being familiar, being comfortable can't be a part of why you stay instead of go.

It can also be a reason why you go. I've heard ministers say they left ministries because they are comfortable, and they feel as though they'll become stagnant if they stay. James tells us, basically, that when God tells us to go, we go. When he says stay, we stay. Our decision making should be wrapped up in His leading, it should emanate from it. My last sermon at FCC was exactly this idea: you move when God moves you.

Here's the thing: our move was easy. Our stay so far has been hard. I believe circumstance can reveal to you what God has in mind, so what would something like this tell you? Does it say that the change was good or bad? When Paul was prevented from going to Rome to visit the church there, he wrote Romans. What does that say to us about God's prevention in our life?

I've never subscribed to extra-Biblical, trite sayings. One that you'll hear about this kind of situation is that when God closes a door, he opens a window. Let me ask you a question: have you ever crawled through a window? As a person well-skilled in locking himself out of the various homes he's lived, and being on the, ahem, larger side of humanity, I will testify that it is not as easy as simply walking through the door. It's hard, uncomfortable, awkward, and probably looks really funny from a distance. In short, if God is giving you a window, it follows that it's not going to be as easy as turning a knob.

So, I think we're crawling through a window. We're getting somewhere, but we're feeling our way. "Through the glass darkly" and all of that. The journey through the open pane is the important part, anyway: It's the part that teaches you not to lock your keys in the house.