Today our family steps into a new horizon. Our plan would have us in the air right now as I write these words. We have come to that proverbial fork in the road and found the road less travelled to be the path home. I awoke this morning and found this notification on my smart-phone. Have you ever awakened from a dream and wondered if it was real? I dream every night, multi-layered dreams within dreams, and in this moment, reality feels like dreamscape.
The sun would have risen today with our family sitting in a row of six on a twin-jet Airbus 319, traveling 1084 miles across Caribbean waters at an altitude of 36,000 feet. We would have sorted out who sits with a stranger since the seat layout is three seats per side and we're one family member short of filling the whole row.
Instead, the day feels like walking through thick fog as I realize that we would never had made it on that flight. Hurricane Matthew has caused it to be cancelled, along with all other flights as the airport falls into full shutdown. Our family at this moment would be sitting on the coast of Florida while the hurricane approaches and the state begins to panic.
I think of Jonah when he avoided God's call and ended up in a storm on the ocean. Thank God we didn't run.
Does God speak through his creation? I'd never believe that the hurricane was sent as a message to me, but I can imagine that He does speak sometimes through the wind.
We purchased our tickets this past July and planned to return to Guatemala today after a ten week rest. Our plan was to find a house closer to our church, to expand student ministries, internships, and multi-national student excursions. Our plan was to continue to grow Journey Church and to remain there long term, serving where He had placed us.
But God's does not submit to the plans of his creation. Gate G13 of terminal four sits crowded with stranded travelers, but we are not among them. God has us waiting at the gate of His choosing. His hand is so evident in our days.
The past ten weeks have been active and productive, but to the average person looking in, we're just unemployed and directionless. But, this is not the case. We're just waiting for the gatekeeper to open the gate. My search for a place to serve in pastoral ministry has led us to churches in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kansas, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. I've been rejected by a few and we've said no to others that invited us. This process is exhausting, heart-wrenching, and somehow it has produced a deep peace in our hearts.
What started out as the pursuit of a single church was expanded to a field of twelve churches, and now we've narrowed it down to pursuing just one. I don't know yet how this ends. In a few weeks I might have an announcement, or we may still need to wait. It's about God's timing.
I've been reading the memoirs of Mother Teresa. After she was called by God to go and serve with the poor in India, she waited for over a year while her superiors considered her request. She wrote that while the waiting was painful, it was worthwhile because she knew that once they approved her, it would be an affirmation that God was truly commanding her to go.
It's the same for us. We know the direction that God has for us and we're in full pursuit, doing all that we can while we wait on His affirmation. Today is the first day of our alternate reality and we give thanks that we are right where He has called us to be. I can nearly hear him whisper even now.
The gatekeeper opens the gate for him,
and the sheep hear his voice.
He calls his own sheep by name
and leads them out.
When he has brought out all his own,
he goes ahead of them,
and the sheep will follow him
because they know his voice.
John 10:3-4 (NRSV)
|Alesksandra tunes her ukulele in the evening light.|
Teresa, and Brian Kolodiejchuk. 2007. Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the "Saint of Calcutta". Kindle Edition.