And so I am in southern California.
I am here for work. So far, it’s been an incredibly long day of airports and airplanes and delays and navigating strange places. The alarm went off at 3AM this morning, and 16 hours later there is a conference session to sit through and a lot of networking and small talk.
Nothing would make me happier than to sit in this little room, which smells strongly of furniture polish and disinfectant, and read a book. Or write. Or talk a nap.
But I am in southern California because the vocation to which I have committed myself requires new learning, a new challenge, and a serious commitment on my part. After a little over a decade, there are some parts of my job that I can do with my eyes closed.
Actually, if you consider how I play piano and lead worship, often I do it with my eyes closed. Literally.
But I’m in a new season, and we are examining how our church and the culture is changing, and what it’s like to function in a multi site environment, and what is required of leadership, and so I’m in southern California to learn how to connect people to God and to one another in more effective ways. I’ll spend three days soaking up info and meeting people and taking notes and processing. Then I’ll spend a couple of days with my youngest daughter, who just happens to live an hour from the conference center.
And then I will come home, and I will hit the ground running.
I like to travel. I like seeing new places and discovering new things. Truth be told, I’m very introverted, so sometimes it’s a struggle to all the meeting and greeting and getting-to-know-you.
(Lord, please let there not be any games….)
I’m glad to be here; I’m grateful. It feels very much like a privilege, for sure.
But it also costs something. Time, energy; a week away from my husband and youngest son, a week away from my coworkers in the middle of planning and preparing and launching a new series. This time doesn’t come cheap.
Today’s reading in Bread and Wine is title ‘Surrender Is Everything’.
…at every moment we practice a surrender that has no limits, a surrender that includes all possible methods and degrees of service to God. It is not our business to decide what the ultimate purpose of such submission may be, but our sole duty is to submit ourselves to all God sends us…
The free gifts he asks from us are self-denia, obedience and love. The rest is his business. Jean-Pierre de Caussade
I know it’s hard to look at a picture like this and think I’m practicing self-denial and surrender. What a gift, to stand in such a place of beauty.
But perspective and purpose is everything, isn’t it? The wind was whipping, and the air was chilly. The rocks were difficult to stand upon. It is beautiful, for sure – but to actually be present in this place wasn’t free of distraction.
I didn’t stand there long; just long enough to take a few photos and marvel at the beauty.
There is much asked of me here, both in this place as I learn and grow, and when I return to serve my church. It’s time to head downstairs and meet some people; give up my alone time, defer the nap until later….
If you can use anything, Lord – you can use me…