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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pretence becomes Reality

Today is the first day of my life that I find myself a full-time pastor.

I have left my job as an investment consultant, and I am now the Minister of Music and Youth (my official title) at the Winchester First United Methodist Church. I am excited about the opportunities in these ministries. They have so much promise . . .

But I'm also feeling trepidatious, to a certain degree. That is normal, I guess, but this week has been especially difficult. The Church will pay me well, but not quite enough for us to live on. So I was waiting on news of a job in town. The interviews were promising, and I felt I had a good chance to get the job.

I didn't.

Lots of people were praying and fasting for me. Tara and I have been prayed up and obedient. Things were looking up, but God said "No", and that's ok. Our testimony isn't really viable if we can't trust Him with the big picture.

But that doesn't mean it's not difficult. Sometimes we all get tired of trusting, and would REALLY like to just know what is around the corner.

So right now, life is an adventure that we really haven't signed up for. Honestly, everyday has been an exploration into finding where our next meal is coming from. And every day, God has provided for us in really weird, unexpected ways.

This morning, I was coming back from the store, and I was talking to God. In the middle of our conversation I had an "aha" moment and said something like this . . . "God, there is one area I feel that you have no idea what it's like to be human, and that's the area of our limited view. I feel that you can't really understand what it's like to not know how you are going to pay your bills next week, or how you are going beat back depression when your electricity is shut off while you are walking out the door to go to church and minister to people."

We've all been there. Let's just be honest. We put on our masks and tell everyone that we are doing great, but that's not true all of the time.

And yes, pastors go through this stuff too!

So, sitting in my driveway, I ended my conversation with God by getting what I thought was the last word. I said something like, "Even Jesus Your son, God in the flesh, had no sin, no fear, and no worry. He knew your will for Him, and that excludes 90% of us because we don't really don't know. It is constantly being revealed, day after day after day . . . and we have to try our best not to sin, or fear, or worry"

Then I went inside to eat my bologna sandwich with the family.

After lunch, I talked with Tara about our plans for the day, and then I walked into the living room. We have a book cabinet there, where our favorite books are kept. Without knowing why, I walked to the cabinet, opened it up and removed a devotional called "A Year With C.S. Lewis".

I haven't opened that book in over a year. I opened it up and it literally fell open to today's date, June 27th. Here is what I read:

Pretence Becomes Reality

You see what is happening. The Christ Himself, the Son of God who is man (just like you) and God (just like His Father) is actually at your side and already at this moment beginning to turn your pretence into a reality.

This is not merely a fancy way of saying that your conscience is telling you what to do . . . for you are no longer thinking simply about right and wrong; you are trying to catch the good infection from a Person. It is more like painting a portrait than like obeying a set of rules . . .

The real Son of God is at your side. He is beginning to turn you into the same kind of thing as Himself. He is beginning, so to speak, to "inject" His kind of life and thought, His Zoe, into you; beginning to turn the tin soldier into a live man.

The part of you that does not like it is the part that is still tin.

- from Mere Christianity

© Copyright Derek Hickman 2009