PIF Thoughts (in progress) #1
In recent years, the ministries with which I have been affiliated (including my present call) have allowed me the great privilege of ministering to people in transition. Whether those people have been college or seminary students, homeless or hospitalized persons, a congregation or a camp board that is trying to shift its focus, in accompanying them on their journey I have been reminded regularly that God is with us in the wilderness (that place of transition between Egypt and the Promised Land and that the wilderness is indeed a sacred space.
In times of transition, we often prefer to put our energies toward projects and plans that will get us into the Promised Land as quickly as possible instead of taking the time to become aware of the grace that God pours out upon us in the uncomfortable wilderness. However, the stories of Israel in the wilderness teach us not only that God is with us in these transitions, but also that the wilderness is an important time in the life of the community.
It has been my privilege to be present with communities in these most holy times and to nurture the community’s clearer vision, not only of the future but also of the good work that God is doing in them every day. To these communities in transition, the good news is this: though we may feel like we are wandering in a barren land, God is most surely at work and we are invited to see God at work where we (perhaps) least expect it.
NOTE: I’m working on updating my Personal Information Form (or PIF), which is the standardized form that Presbyterian Church (USA) pastors fill out when they are looking for new ministry positions. As I do so, I am reading and writing a lot of things about the church, ministry, and myself. Since not all of these things will eventually wind up in the final version of my PIF, I thought I’d share some of it here. Thanks for letting me indulge.