For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
I have to admit, it can be a constant struggle to stay grounded when you’re in the process of turning your life upside down!
This weekend we’ve been working on packing up the books from Rebekah’s office; we also finished off the “punch-list” of house repairs, and are attempting to get all our ducks in a row for the trip to Michigan for Andrew and Alicia’s wedding celebration.
What kind of blindsided both of us was the sharp stab of grief, even in the midst of all the anticipation and excitement (not to mention the sharp stabs of pain in my back, from moving over 30 boxes of books!). I guess we’re going to be experiencing a lot of this kind of dissonance over the next few weeks.
GROUNDED: So back to the idea of staying grounded. The grounding I’m talking about is really the heart of the central mission that has always guided our life together. It’s the sense of purpose that first took Rebekah and I to Columbia Seminary in Atlanta in 1980, that steered us to Pensacola in 1982, that moved us to Brandon in 1996, and that is now leading us to Wake Forest, North Carolina. It’s the message that Jesus is the answer to life’s most essential questions, that the most important decision any of us can ever make is to follow him, and that Rebekah and I – as a family – have been called to serve as guideposts along the way.
You will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life (Philippians 2).
So I am especially glad that today is another Sunday, because the context of worship never fails to anchor me back into the heart of what really matters, and guides us from day to day.
I’m going to stand on the stage, at the back of our most excellent praise orchestra, and play my heart out on the guitar while we sing contemporary worship songs; I’m going to let the music wash over me, the word of God nurture me, and the message uplift me; I’m going to rest in the knowledge that God loves me; I’m going to revel in the presence of God; I’m going to settle, comfortably, in the cumulative reassurance of the living witness of the community of faith known as First Presbyterian Church of Brandon; I’m going to breathe in the resurrection power of the Spirit of God; and I’m going to be grounded in the heart of the very reason God has called us to move away.
So I will still be a little sad; we both will. But we will also – because of this amazing church – be more thoroughly equipped for the next leg of the journey, living like we mean it, all for Jesus.