I am not happy. Of course, I am not happy for what cancer is doing to my wife. I am also not happy for what it is doing to my children. I am not happy with what cancer is doing to me (doubly so as cancer survivor and as a caregiver now). I am not happy for what it is doing to friends both new and old.
These thoughts are some of the ones which get going in my head. The church I serve is an amazing group of people who have been The Church to our family again and again. But I grieve I cannot be the pastor at times I want to be. It breaks my heart when I reach my limits and people choose to leave because I cannot be the pastor they need me to be or wish I was. I hate to say "no" not because I have boundary issues but because I know, if things were different, I could say "yes."
My mind races as I wonder and worry over the United Methodist Church as we prepare for General Conference. It tears at my soul so many Christians are so obsessed with conflict and trying to draw lines regarding who is "in" and who is "out." As a nation, we are so quick to move to sides and to ostracize someone because they post an opinion different from our own. I suspect even these words someone will find offensive because I did not show myself to be "transparent" regarding my beliefs.
But I am not on any of these sides. I am seeking to be on only God's side. No "side" has a monopoly on God that I can see. Tragically, the line is not so clear cut, it is not so simple. Don't give me this cop out nonsense either. The power we're talking about is nothing compared to the power of the...Divine (some of you thought I was gonna say something else didn't you?) But let's go there shall we?
Luke: "But how am I to know the good side from the bad?"
Yoda: "You will know... when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, NEVER for attack."
How calm are you on the "issues?" When were you at peace and passive? When have you listened intently for God, not assuming you already knew what the Divine might say? When did you last pray for God to speak? And did you actually listen or run off your own way? Did seek to discern God's will or simply dig out the Bible passages which would affirm your agenda?
I am not happy about a lot of things but in truth, what I am not happy with is myself. I am not more like Jesus and this does not make me happy and I will do something about it. This week I am praying, Holy Spirit, quiet my mind so I might hear your voice [and follow You].