Each day upon waking up, I have an expectation of what my day may be like. Breakfast, morning coffee with friends at a local watering hole, chores, hobbies, lunch and dinner with Judy, visiting grandchildren for ballgames and recitals, etc. You too, have your expected daily routine. Oops! Then life happens. A dreaded phone call telling you that a loved one has died, a health report stating you have a significant illness, a neighbor in trouble, job change, etc.
While I know life consists of unexpected events (positive and negative), I arise every morning not anticipating them today.
My plans for the summer and fall consisted of relearning how to fish (new boat), golfing, weekly motorcycle trips with friends, visiting grandchildren in Utah (and their parents) and traveling with Judy.
It was an unexpected life event the day FPCRM leaders called to ask if I would consider serving as bridge interim pastor while they searched for a full-time interim minister. FPC was not on my radar screen but it didn’t take long before I realized this is what I was being called to do. You see, I have lived my life with the attitude, “Lord, guide me in ways to serve you.” However, I expected to serve in smaller “bites,” you know the kind that would match my retirement plans, a little bit here and a little bit there.
As each of you know quality of life is not in the content of what we do but in the attitude we have. One could play golf and it could be the worst experience or the best experience ever–attitude. Likewise, I would never have chosen my dad to have Alzheimer’s disease. Many of you know how difficult it is to have loved ones live with this disease. When this happened , I learned to pray, “why not us, we are not any better than anyone else.” When our son was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer we approached it the same way. Now that doesn’t mean we didn’t cry, hurt, and struggle. It meant we were not alone as we faced life challenges. Family, friends and our faith family were there to give us strength and support.
I have been blessed to be a part of the FPC family and I think it is in part to my being open to new possibilities (and certainly, the wonderful people I have met.) I have great appreciation for who you are. While there are many personalities and multitudes of life experiences in this family, it is my prayer to respect you as God has created you and not the way I think you should be. I invite you to join with me in living this prayer this summer—“Lord, help me to respect others for the way you have created them rather than the way I think they should be.”
Peace and blessings,