Perhaps I am feeling introspective because a friend from another period in life was passing through as she prepares to move overseas and I wanted to see her before I lost that chance for some time. We talked about life, and where old friends are now, and how quickly time moves.
It was good.
As I was driving home, I listened to Andrew Peterson and delighted in the early morning sunlight dancing through the tall pines on the southern end of the Colorado Plateau.
Five years ago, July 6 (I think, it may have been the 7th or the 5th) was my ordination as a presbyter. It’s hard to believe that five years have gone by already. If you had told me then that I would be delighting in learning to call Arizona home, my reaction would have been laughter. If you told me I would live in California, and North Carolina, I would have been doubtful.
Yet, here I am, and my heart is glad.
I told my friend that I was so thankful that my biotech career had tanked. Looking back, I had stopped laughing, the sweetness to life was gone. I laugh now. I laugh loudly, probably obnoxiously at times and life is sweet.
I remember, a little over a year ago, thinking, “I don’t want to move to Arizona!” Looking back, I now realize I visited in the driest, hottest, and brownest part of the year. I’ve learned a ton about Arizona, and come to see its incredible beauty.
I remember confessing to a friend in Asheville a fear of moving to an older church, in an entirely new city and not having friends. I am richly blessed with a warm church community and friends. Friends that love me as a part of their own family, friends that challenge me to grow in Christ. I can say, honestly, that I am loved.
I am enjoying the deep delight in seeing people grow in Christ. At times, I can’t believe that I get paid to talk to people about Jesus, to write about Jesus, and even to continue to learn and grow in my knowledge of Him. I do!
The year hasn’t been perfect, there have been days of profound struggle, days of withering insecurity, days where I see my sin splayed out like a shameful rug. Even in that, the Lord has reminded me – again, and again, and again to trust in Him, to dwell richly in His grace.
Lent, in particular, was tough, as Lent often is. It is, after all, a season in which we ask to be sanctified, and I suppose I shouldn’t expect anything else. It was good though; it forced me to learn to trust the friends that the Lord has brought into my life, to expose the wounds of my heart to them that I might grow.
I have long struggled with looking at relationships, friendships, work, and projects as short-term efforts. With every day I am here, I find myself thinking in terms of years over days, decades over years, and making plans for a lifetime.
The longer I contemplate where my life heads – the more convinced that if I spend a lifetime doing just one thing well, it’ll be a very good life.
So here I am, in a little over a week I’ll mark the five year anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, in a little over a month, I will have been in Prescott for a year. I am far from perfect, but how deeply I am learning to enjoy the grace of God, and how good this life is.
I will end with this thought. I have been thinking a lot about my blog lately, and how best to use it. What would people be interested in?
- Book reviews (I read a fair amount, and this would force me to read more diligently).
- Random, strange personal narratives like this
- Cultural commentaries
- Devotional writing
- Something else?
I can’t promise I’ll be writing more, but I really want to try. Thank you to all who pray regularly for me, and for all who pray for the ministry of All Saints – Prescott. Please keep it up; I think it is how I have made it through this year.