I was just a toddler when David Bowie released “Changes,” reportedly a throw-away ditty that with time became one of his best-known songs. “Changes” seems a fitting title track for the world today, but as I attempt to accomplish the trifecta of moving houses, jobs, and offices in the next week or so, I kind of have it stuck in the old noggin for personal reasons.
There are benefits to moving, of course. Like mental and physical exhaustion. The aroma of cardboard. An urge to google “hoarder assessment quiz.” Noble attempts at impossible to-do lists. Locating unused muscle groups. Discovering spiders in little-trafficked areas of the house. Mental and physical exhaustion. Did I mention that one already? Forgetfulness.
But don’t forget the magical feeling of a fresh start that comes along for the ride, too. And the opportunity to throw away junk and live more simply. And the glorious break from the old routine to attempt to create a better routine. And the sudden appearance of the word “possibilities” in daily conversations. Changes can be downright invigorating, and I for one am excited by the prospect in spite of the unavoidable challenges.
“I hate moving” seems to be the natural and popular thing to say. But I sure love getting somewhere, and it stands to reason that it is hard to get somewhere if you are immovable.
Those who know me well might want to sit down for this one.
The co-chairs of the preacher search committee at our church announced this morning that my name has been proposed as the church’s new full-time preaching minister. This is most definitely not a done deal since I (and the rest of the elders) insisted on feedback from the congregation this week. If the proposal proceeds, however, I am willing to transition into that full-time role in March.
(Pause for friends and family who didn’t listen to the suggestion to sit down.)
Both my current work (law school administration) and my church find themselves in important times of transition, and I have struggled for the past several years with serving in effectively pastoral roles in both places and the accompanying feeling that I am unable to do justice to either one. And I care a lot about doing justice. At one point during the past year I tried to step back from church leadership but circumstances simply would not allow that to occur. Maybe that was a sign. Now, through lots of late-night talks and prayers with my sweet wife, it seems right that I focus full attention on church.
Those who don’t know me well may not know that I served as full-time preaching minister for a wonderful group of people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for nearly a decade (early 1999 to late 2008). Some preachers take a sabbatical after such a run. Apparently, I went to law school for nine years instead.
This is a big week for me and for us. My law school years have been fantastic, but this may be a time for transition. I do hope that the congregation will share their thoughts with the church leadership so that the proper decision is clear. If the time isn’t right, then, well, who would want that? But if it is, I am ready to dive in.
My blog is titled, Starting to Look Up. Looking up is surely how I will spend this week.