It's been kind of cool...
- There was this guy once in Panera (where I often go to type away) who was obviously down. I rolled the dice and went up to him... turns out he'd experienced the deaths of three family members in two weeks. We chatted a bit, had some awkward conversation among strangers, and ended things with a smile and some prayer. At least, I said I'd be praying for him.
- I have a couple of friends who serve in churches right now and are going through some "stuff." I think part of my ministry this whole summer has been to just be a friend. I've liked that... I've kind of been a safe place for them to vent and get some perspective. It's been good to reconnect with my good friend, Rob, too.
- My family has needed me to be around more and thankfully I've been able to do that. When I go back to a daily office job I'll miss the spontaneity of just being able to play with my boys or hang out with my wife. It's also been nice to provide chances for her to take some extended breaks with God, friends, and family while she allows me the same luxury back.
- The network of ministry in West Michigan is thick, and I've gotten to know several church planting pastors and emergent thinkers by simply asking them out for food. I'm so thankful for the vision and passion of these men of God (and the wives that love them).
- We had some new neighbors move in this summer... they moved to Michigan all the way from California. We've recently discovered that this is Katie's passion - neighborhood ministry. Not only did they get some fresh backed cookies but she even went over and helped them landscape (while I watched the boys and told them how cool it was that mom was "loving her neighbor"). Sweet!
- Growing in my leadership and spending time with God has been easier, too. I don't mean to imply I've been having "5 hour quiet times" but that my mind has been freer to focus on stretching theologically, my soul has felt deepened spiritually, my heart has broadened relationally, and my body has felt a healthier sense of rest physically. Not only that, but my consumption of books combined with writing leadership curriculum for a friend has grown me in my understanding of Christian leadership. Amazing what can happen in a sabbatical (whether intended or unintended).
When we moved here I knew that God had a ministry for us (even if we didn't know what it was). I was confident that this would be more than a temporary place to live but would instead be where God wanted us to serve unofficially until we found the next "job description."
Sometimes I wonder when the next "season" of my life rolls around...
which season I'll end up preferring.
- "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland." (Isaiah 43:18-19)