You know how you go back to placed where you have spent some time, and there is a distinct feeling that goes along with that place? We have moved around and visited a lot of places - each of those places hold a place in my thoughts and emotions. Some wonderful and some that have pain involved - but all are a part of making me who I am.
When Shawn and I were first married we lived in the Philly area. Shawn had lived there before he met me, and then moved back there for a few months before we were married. We loved living there! We were young newly weds, and we spent any free time we had exploring the area - both the touristy spots and the spots that only the locals can tell you about. It's funny - for being one of the oldest places in the country, it represents new beginnings and fresh starts to me!
And now there is another layer to that. We are back in the area this week to attend orientation at World Harvest to start preparing to head (hopefully) to South Sudan. I am not sure how God is going to do all the work that will be a part of this - the two churches we pastor that we love, the fund raising that needs to be done, the personal stress of getting ready for a life unlike anything we've known before. It is something that could (and does) cause a lot of anxiety in me if I allow myself to think too much on it and be "responsible" for everything.
Last week at Compelled we talked about being involved in the Body, what that meant, and how to do that. One of the questions I was asked was, "What are the requirements of being involved?" As I look at the tasks ahead of us, I ask myself that question - what are the requirements of being involved in all this, and do I meet them?
At Shawn's installation at Carman Road Church on Sunday one of the pastors read from Micah 6:8. "He has told you, Oh man what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to seek justice, love mercy [kindness], and walk humbly with your God?"
Not a new verse to me - and you can hear it on any Christian radio station in the song "Courageous" by Casting Crowns. But for some reason it stuck out to me and continues to speak to my heart. How do we continue on in two churches - loving people, seeking God's will for each of them, growing and stretching ourselves and others? How do we encourage people to be involved (for their own growth) in these bodies? How do I even begin to wrap my mind around fund raising as we do this? Do I really fall into the category as one who can do this? Do I meet those requirements?
I will continue to pray that God would help me to seek justice, love mercy and kindness, and walk humbly with him so that overflows to others around me. And then I will trust his words of working out his plan for my life. I will do this with Shawn and the kids, and we will enjoy the ride.