I usually try to take note when certain themes come from several sources in my blogreader, or perhaps it is in my noticing that a common theme develops.
Last week the post, Once Was An Evangelist, by Andrew Hamilton caught my attention because I could relate to what he described.
As a senior pastor I had influence with those in the church sphere when it came to issues of spirituality. People would listen to me, sometimes defer to me and again I was able to influence some towards faith…Minus the position and status accorded to me as a pastor, I don’t seem to have the same influence…
I have a wonderful family, my life is pretty rosy in many ways, but I live with an ongoing sense of disappointment that I haven’t been able to accomplish what I had hoped and I am not sure if I ever will.
This was a difficult adjustment for me in leaving our former church. Suddenly, I was aware of how much of the respect that I was accustomed to was dependent on my title and position. The position had automatically created ministry opportunities for me. Apart from the position, people were not seeking out ministry, advice, or counsel from me.
If I wanted to be involved in ministry now, it would have to occur in the realm of ordinary life in whatever means I could find to give and serve. This kind of serving not only doesn’t have the prestige of church ministry, it also doesn’t have the stamp of legitimacy that comes with ministry in a church setting.
Some beautiful words from my good friend Pam:
There is power and beauty in being ordinary. I don’t need to discover a grand, spectacular plan for my life that will demonstrate the razzle-dazzle of Jesus. The loveliness of Christ is found in the everydayness of regular people like me.
For so long I have been waiting for something to happen, for my true spiritual calling to manifest so I can at long last be all that I am meant to be for Jesus. Years have rolled by as I’ve waited to mature and transform into the woman of faith I know I am not.
Echoed again in this post by Paul Viera in his post, Embracing the Ordinary:
I wanted my life to count, to be great, to make a difference. I never dreamed that I would find the meaning of life in the ordinary. Embracing the ordinary has changed my entire outlook on life. I think I will still do the things that are in my heart to do. However, my obsession to be “great” was sabotaging those dreams by causing me to miss the moment, to not live and enjoy the present.
These everyday encounters make life real and it’s through loving and enjoying the people around us that our life becomes great. Our lofty pursuits often become meaningless efforts at chasing the wind, while our kids stand on the side lines wishing that they had our affection and attention.
Is there destiny, fulfillment, and purpose for those who are called to ordinary life? I hope so.
Finally this poem to wrap it all up:
THE GREAT REVERSAL
Walking with the crowds
Carried along by the pressing forward.
Each one eager to get ahead
But each one starting the same:
Born as a baby, and from then on, struggling towards
meaning, power and influence.
Make a big impression
Leave some indelible mark in your 3 score years and 10
From birth, a struggle to find eternity, to burst
through life with such dazzling intensity, that
everyone will remember forever.
But walking the other way, picking out a route
against the crowds, a solitary figure passes me…
passes all of us – all straining away innocence, to be someone,
And he passes us, a quiet chaos in the crowd.
Christ, eternal, omniscient, creator, beyond time,
source of wisdom and beyond petty claims of influence…
in very nature God, slips into reverse
and walks back past us –
away from Kingship, away from power,
away from influence, away from eternity,
away from wisdom… towards infancy.
Calmly stepping into the body of a tiny child.
And even as this baby grows,
figuring out how to control the body he himself designed,
he still walks the other way,
realizing that life cannot be found in the struggle for permanence,
but in giving it up.
This Great Reversal subverts me.
Tired of pressing forward,
I realize I need to turn,
for what I have been searching for
has just walked past me the other way.