The Inner Landscape

Following the Trail

Saturday we stopped to walk a trail at Moose Pond. We really stopped to
take the dogs to the little beach, but when we saw a marked trail,
naturally we found it irresistible. It's not really clear yet how much
walking I can do, especially on a trail with ups and downs, but
the air was cool and the dogs were jolly, and off we went together. The
trail had no blazes to guide us, but it seemed fairly clear where to
turn and when. Mostly.

Tonight after a cottage meeting (a small group meeting aimed at getting people in the church talking about the history and the identity of the church), I received a very nice compliment from a man who is a friend of the church. Because he rarely attends on Sundays, we had never met before tonight.

He met me only as Interim Minister/Consultant/Facilitator.

He did not meet Pastor or Preacher or Counselor or Administrator or Writer or Teacher.

And he paid me a compliment simply on that one role.

Pure Luck and I spent a lot of time over the weekend contemplating the future. I'm weighing the happiness of children and the ties of family against my health and my own professional interests, all while trying to discern the leading of the Spirit, and I feel confused. I like doing Interim work, and I think I may be pretty good at it, but
my health concerns suggest that being in a type of ministry where you
seek a new job every 12-18 months is probably not ideal. And if that's a concern, take a minute to think about the stress involved in planting a new church!

These thoughts go to bed with me at night and get up with me in the morning. They drive to church with me and accompany me on visits. I wish things felt more obvious. I wish there could be assurances.

Over by Moose Pond, we followed the little trail over a hill and around a bend, and we wondered if it would simply end, requiring us to retrace our footsteps. We curved around the shore and found a loop, an unexpected path that returned us to an earlier point on the trail.

We had gone by without noticing it only a few minutes before. People's eyes and dogs' noses had passed it by completely.

I will go to bed tonight with my thoughts, including the compliment, and hope that somehow I will find the trail I need to follow, hope that I will follow the natural curves, hope that I will see the alternate paths when they present themselves.

9 thoughts on “Following the Trail”

  1. I believe you to be a wonderful pastor. I know from reading your blog that you are a wonderful writer and teacher. There are various positions you can find for yourself. I will pray that God shows you the right one for you. You can absolutely not stress the RA. We have a daughter with RA who is on methotrexate. Sadly, it kills the immune system and she spends her days nurturing and teaching kindergarteners, sneezes, coughs, germs and all. I pray for her at the same time. I truly believe God will open a door for you to follow your calling and take care of yourself. Many blessings.

  2. I’ll bet he would have complimented the “Pastor or Preacher or Counselor or Administrator or Writer or Teacher,” too, if he knew her.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about the career stress. I know how taxing that can be. I’m sure that as you continue to listen, God will guide you in the right direction. Prayers and hugs.

  4. even if you can’t see it or feel it, may god be moving you on that path, one tiny step, one deep breath at a time… (and may there be no bull moose in your path on the way!)

  5. The Holy Spirit works in ways we cannot comprehend. She will reveal to you where you are being called and she will lead the way.
    ((songbird))
    Peace and love,

  6. ((Songbird)) how you manage all you do, is truly beyond me, and surely my abilities. I think i have said this to you before (at least in my head): The challenge for you is that you’re so gifted (preacher, pastor, writer, blogger, parents, friend, animal lover, knitter) that it makes the discernment process that much harder. I find the psalmist helpful here esp. with additional physical challenges:
    “Be still and know that I am God” Ps 46

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