Musing again

I opened up my journal this morning, wrote in today’s date, and suddenly remembered that I was ordained as a pastor 18 years ago today.  Oh, how the world has changed!  How the Church has changed!  How I have changed!

On that evening 18  years ago, I didn’t know what I was getting into any more than Peter, Andrew, James or John did when Jesus invited them to leave their nets and fish for people!  They left the quiet of mending nets, sun warm on their backs, the sound of soft sea waves lapping at the shore to end up in the public marketplace. They never mention wanting to go back, but, after Jesus’ crucifixion when times got harder and confusing, Peter once tried the fishing thing again.  Jesus found him and did the “follow me” thing again and back Peter went to the city.

I don’t fish, but sometimes I can be found hiding with a book under a tree on a sunny day.  Sometimes I have to be found again.

I hope I have grown wiser, but lately I am more aware of my foolishness.  I hope I have made a difference, but there is no way to know what truly lasts and what is dust.  I hope I haven’t brought too much harm upon anyone but that those who have been hurt by me have found a better way.  I am grateful—oh, so grateful—for those who have supported me along the way of this strange calling, especially my husband Rick who is home many evenings when I am not.

Still, on that night 18 years ago when I was asked by the bishop on behalf of the Church if I would do a number of things demanded of me in the calling of pastor, I promised several times with this scripted response:  I do and I ask God to help me.  I may not be wiser after this 18 year journey, but God did what I asked that night and kept God’s part of bargain.  God has indeed been my faithful help through this—always.  And I am more than grateful; this morning I am humbled.

Comments

  1. You certainly are a strength for my family.

  2. Holly Simons says:

    Beloved Elaine,
    What a special and sacred anniversary….. Indeed, in the vast cycles of change and chaos, God has been faithful to help you…. and me… as we navigate our paths in this life journey. My heartiest joy and congratulations on this day, with continued prayers and belief that God is indeed using you powerfully, mostly in ways you will not know until later, if even then.
    Together we are His humbled servants, walking, walking His water way, until that promised time of ultimate release. Hugs and peace… Holly

  3. Phaidra Cox says:

    I can’t believe that special night was 18 years ago! I’m so thankful to have been there with you. I have seen your influence and wisdom more in family matters rather than in your pastoral role, and am therefore very thankful that you became a member of our family, oh my goodness, over 40 years ago!? And the glimpses of you as a pastor have amazed me, becoming lifelong memories. I will always hold your words deeply in my heart, especially those you shared at Dad’s funeral and at my wedding. I am so thankful for your willingness to allow your family and minister roles to be intertwined in those special events, and your willingness to be there for us very soon once again at Lauren’s wedding. You have been faithful in your calling as a pastor, and a strong support in our family. God gave me a very special sister in law. I respect and love you!

  4. Sue smith says:

    You have lent a compassionate listening ear when I needed it, a guidepost when I had no map, and a jump start when my engine has stalled. I am grateful.