Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stop and celebrate

A couple of weeks ago, I took both of our girls to the pediatrician for their annual check-ups. I always get a little nostalgic when we go because I realize another year has passed, and they are growing up too quickly! This time, as I sat looking at my daughters in their paper gowns preparing for the doctor to arrive, I felt more than a sentimental stirring. I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude at the fact that they are healthy. It suddenly dawned on me that there was so much to celebrate about that moment - we have health-care, insurance, have not been sick much, have access to immunizations (which my daughters might argue is nothing to celebrate!), and the list goes on. I felt gratitude, and yes, I also felt a tinge of guilt. While I can be pretty good at noticing when things are not going my way, I can be pretty bad a pausing to celebrate the good things.

I have a long list of things to celebrate, but instead of boring you with the list, I'll share one beautiful example. Two years ago this month, I was considering accepting an associate pastor staff position in a wonderful church in rural Georgia. I was thrilled to have this opportunity, and it was a good one. The role would involve many of the things I love to do. I thought and prayed and listened as people urged me to seriously consider accepting the call. Despite their advice, I just could not do it. Something told me no. About that same time, I began paying more attention to this opportunity I had heard about that involved starting new CBF churches in Florida. I did some reading on new ways of being church and church starting and attended a conference with others involved in "missional community formation." While I was drawn to the idea of church planting, it also seemed too risky, overwhelming, and was not something I could really see myself doing.

This Sunday, as The Well at Springfield celebrated the start of monthly worship, I celebrated my calling into this risky and at times overwhelming work. Admittedly, there have been many days when I have wondered when and how this new faith community was going to take shape; however, this was not one of them. As I looked around the room, I realized that a church had formed and I felt such affirmation. The stirring not to move into a traditional ministry position was what I needed to listen to, even as difficult and crazy as it seemed at the time. The stirring to be part of something new led us to this beautiful day, and for that I want to stop and celebrate.

After Sunday came Monday which brought another work and school week, a car breakdown, and an array of activity. I was about to move on too quickly until I remembered the visit to the pediatrician. I remembered to stop, and to soak in the goodness of Sunday. I need to stop and celebrate, and not forget how wonderful it is to sense the affirmation. I need to stop and celebrate the privelege of serving a God who still shapes and stirs, and to see the evidence of God's love and care through friends who gathered for worship. I'm sure I'll need it to look back upon in the days ahead.


  1. What a journey! Keep sharing. Blessings on your ministry.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and for the encouraging words. Blessings on your ministry as well!