I have been in limbo again for several weeks – such a painful place to be. I do not know whether the powers-that-be will permit me to stay in the process.
The issue at hand is that I am “too much of a free spirit.”
Don’t I wish!!
The Holy Spirit has been in charge more often than not. When things have gone “wrong,” it’s usually because I was impatient or scared and tried to take charge.
Oddly enough, it has been at the times when I have been on the verge of throwing in the towel that I get the clearest messages not to; like the completely unexpected phone call from a pastor who said “I just this instant thought of you” or the one from a seminary colleague who said “I’m in town. Let’s go for coffee.”
This past week, I was struggling with the third of three sermons in deliberately different styles in a “might as well go out with a bang” mood. And then, when I really needed the writing time, came a series of three phone calls from the hospital to attend families and friends of patients who’d just died. Each attendance provided clear gospel messages to the law/trouble messages in my sermon. Each one was a clear “don’t give up” message for me too.
In the end, the sermon came together so clearly that it was a complete “Holy Spirit in Charge” situation.
The Sunday morning service itself was amazing. My cantor/assistant was of the rare “ought-to-be-on-stage” variety that I just wanted to hug.
Here’s the funny thing in all of this: My hearing aid was out of order so my hearing was badly reduced. (Out of order because I had managed to drop the more vital of the two into a just extinguished column-candle so that it was totally immersed in molten wax just as I hit the sack on the night before.)
The announcements there are done at the end of the service. At the end of the announcements I said “thank-you for allowing me to worship with you” – I hadn’t planned to, and it just came out (which was so cool, so totally “Spirit in charge”). Because my hearing was at about 25%, the next sound I heard made me think it was raining! I actually looked at the window first and then back at the congregation. When I saw their hands, I realized what was up. What a surprise! I don’t remember ever being applauded in church. They were thanking me, as a group, for having joined them!
And then, once again — someone had to remind me to ask for birthdays and anniversaries because I had forgotten
Everyone looked around and around and then Spirit in charge said: “why don’t we sing happy unbirthday to us” – They loved it – hmmm I guess that will have been recorded too!
Today, I will admit my anxiety level is up a little again as I go back into waiting mode. But I have the memory of yesterday’s service to remind me that I am on the right track. If the earthly-powers-that-be here reject me, I will be looking for another that won’t.
In the meantime, I am once again couch-surfing so that my minimal income can be used to slowly pay off the debt I accumulated over the four years at school, and to keep up with the weekly counselling sessions that are helping me deal with those underlying issues that sometimes cause me to try to take charge.
Free Spirit – yeah, right! If only…