"I would rather my heart be pliable and open to all…not hard and
incapable of receiving God’s messengers when they arrive." Tripp
Hudgins, on his blog.
"A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within
you; and I will remove from your body the heart of
stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26
Let’s just say there have been some disappointments on the vocational front in terms of what the future may hold, and I am wondering what God is up to at the moment. Each time I have gotten a bit excited about seeing, perhaps, the way ahead of me, something has happened to shut me down. And when I begin to brace myself for disappointment, and brace myself I do, the only way I know how to do it is to close down.
I know very well that closing down is not the way to facilitate the arrival of God’s messengers, or more importantly the recognition of their arrival.
I guess I’m comparing this period of discernment to the time I decided to go back to seminary, and finding it wanting. Then I kept seeing doors closing, and I finally got the message that I ought to be finishing seminary, not trying something else altogether, and once I made the decision, all the other things that seemed so impossible or unlikely fell into place. I want that to happen now, too! But the human element is not so cooperative, or perhaps I’m simply impatient.
What I do know is that I am wound tight and that doesn’t help in figuring out what is next or what is right. My soul posture is entirely closed. Being open feels too scary, too vulnerable.
I feel a bit like the witches in Stardust, reading the entrails of a rejection e-mail received tonight, trying to see the signs and portents that will guide me to the heart of the star, to the source of renewal. The settled job it represented would have been just the opposite of what I really hope to be doing, but because of my geographic ties, it seemed important to put my name in for everything possible. I knew all along it was an unlikely match (though there were those who encouraged me to apply), but even when we know that, there is a sense of "Huh, what’s so wrong with me?" that comes with such correspondence.
For now, I remain on the risky path of potential unemployment when this interim ends, and I find that discomfiting, to put it mildly. Any work on a new church start, other than distant planning, would not happen until next year, so I have to hope there will be another interim to serve. It all feels very uncertain.
Which brings me back to the heart of stone. Which I realize will get in the way of receiving the messengers. But for the moment, it’s what I have.