I'm sitting in my office, that will only actually be my office for a few more days...10 to be exact. Since I have so little time left, there's not really much that I have to do. And those things that I can do aren't really doable during regular office hours cause students are in school and most people are at work.
With all that's happening these days, I find that I need to release thoughts out of my head so that I don't go nuts.
I picked up a new vehicle the other day from one Mike Schalin. I'm pretty excited about driving some new wheels, mostly because I've been looking at getting a new car for a while now and it's actually happened. It's newer and nicer than my former car, and actually probably than any other car I've ever had. Though I must admit that it wouldn't have been possible to reach that point in vehicular greatness were it not for the incredible anonymous gift from a church goer in Calgary whilst I was on internship of a free car. That car held much appreciation with it, unfortunately it got totaled in an accident a few years back, otherwise I'm sure I'd still be driving it today (the accident was of no fault of mine).
This new car, however, represents a lot more than just me styling and profiling in a hardcore station wagon. It represents a new beginning in a sense, with a move to another province, to a city that I once called home and will soon be doing so again.
After months of sleepless nights (not literally, though darn close) and a ton of asking other (God, friends, colleagues, that guy in the 7/11) what it is that I'm supposed to be doing and unbelievable internal struggle as to what my purpose in my current church and ministry and even in future ministries is and should be, it came to a very difficult conclusion to head back into the land of academia and seek out higher education.
This is such a bittersweet existence right now as I walk through a number of "lasts" here in North Battleford and look towards something that I'm really not sure how all will turn out. While I've always been open about my personal feelings towards this place as a choice to live it wouldn't be my number one, there is more than just location to be considered. Something I'm only learning now is how attached I have become to this place with all it entails. Of course it's always people that make a place endearing, I've learned to love people here.
I've really learned to love my students, and I can call them that, they're mine (you're mine!) ha. Not because of some strange obsession or anything like that, but simply because I have invested so much in them and they in me I feel a sense of attachment to them greater than just youth and youth leader. They are my friends, my students, in a very real sense those whom I've served.
As I sifted through all of the thank you notes and gifts received from the farewell that was held for me, of course being who I am, I shed a few tears and certainly laughed at some of the comments made. But more than anything I can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of unworthiness. It's hitting me hard today, it's such a privilege to be given a position of spiritual leadership. I think I've known that in my head before but it's really sinking in today. It's incredible the responsibility that it is but it's by no means a right. I haven't earned it, it doesn't matter how much school I go through, how many years of experience, how much I got paid before, none of it matters, it's something that for whatever reason God has placed on my heart to do and has given me the chance to do it.
I think that's what should and does hold many pastors accountable to their task, not any rules or regulations (though many like to think such is the case), it's not other people (though important) it's the simple and immense gift of God that most certainly should keep us in place.
Sadly, even in my own experience, we don't always get it. Somehow a pastor can lose perspective and forget that his position is a privilege not a right. And that's when things begin to happen within that person that may very easily cause big problems. I've been caught in this before and I pray that it will not happen again.
As I inch closer and closer to moving back to Calgary there is sorrow in my heart because of leaving a place I've grown to appreciate and leaving people for whom I care deeply. At the same time there is a sense of wonder and excitement for what's to come in the near future. I think it's going to be much harder getting used to Calgary this time than it was the first time. I think there is going to be some struggle settling back in there, especially knowing that it's likely going to be very different than it was before, and many of the people I was close to while there in the past have either moved onto other places or I've drifted from them. There's apprehension and anticipation in this move.
I guess that's about all that's running through my mind right now, except for one last thing....
Anyone want to buy a house in North Battleford? I know of a good one.