then and now....

Last night, the night was alive with sounds. I walked out onto my deck and was attacked with a wall of noise produced by little bugs and frogs. The fireflies were having a heyday with their butts aglow from one end of my backyard to the other. The moon was reflecting the sun with a rare brilliance, so much so that defined shadows were being cast across the yard by the trees.

As I walked barefoot on the lawn toward my campfire, the dew was already drenching the earth. It felt refreshing to my feet, until I stepped in what I later determined was Canadian goose excriment.

I lit a fire and sat down to watch it burn. I love watching fire burn almost as much as I love watching rivers move. There is something about nature in action that fascinates me. As the flames gained confidence and reached toward the sky, I had to take my chair and move back...the heat was causing my forehead to bead with little sweat droplets. It was cracking and hissing, snapping and whistling. Wet wood was bubbling with foam. The whole backyard was illuminated by the was glorious.

I sat for an hour by the fire. I mused. I evaluated. I listened. I wondered. I wished. I waited. I watched. I felt. I worried. I did nothing.

One of the things that captured my thoughts was the idea of growing up. Not just getting older, but taking on more roles of responsibility. In so many ways, I don't feel ready for what a 33 year old pastor is expected to know and do. Even as I visited my old stomping grounds this last week, I was struck by how far I am from home. When I return home, I sink back into old habits and customs and thought patterns. I feel like a little boy. I don't feel qualified to speak or lead. I revert to past disciplines. What is that? When I'm in New York, I don't know how I do what I do in Michigan. In Michigan, I'm 33 and people look to me for leadership, guidance and inspiration. In New York, I feel, lost for words and wisdom. In Michigan, people depend on me for great tasks, in New York I get tongue-tied, brain-frozen and land-locked...pent up and bound up with memories of who I was colliding with realities of who I now am. I'm not sure I'm making any sense...but these things are to me quite palpable.

So sitting by the fire, I was trying to talk myself back into my platform of leadership here. I was trying to confince myself that I am up for the task and that people do look to me for direction. Everything inside of me is saying, "You are a joke...what do you think you're doing?" So I was trying to believe (or make believe) like I was really poised and prepared for action, all the while nursing feelings of insecurity and inability. It's funny how your inside and your outside go at it sometimes. As I sat out on my lawn...I was struck with how absurd it is that I'm who I am, doing what I'm doing and getting away with it. Ha. Who would have ever guessed?

And yet, I know that I am equal to the task and am called to this place and position. I wasn't sure whether to laugh at the absurdity or cry at the honor of it all. So I just sat and gazed at the fire with glassy eyes. Sometimes all I know to do is to sit and stare.


Teresa said…
I loved this. :)

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