Captain’s Log…..it’s been a while
It’s February. 2021. Obvious? It doesn’t seem to be. I check the calendar every other day or so just to be sure. The whole space-time continuum is wrecked beyond Star Trek proportions. I just looked outside my window into the parking lot to see if Kirk, Bones, and Spock are taking Tri-Corder readings off the Goodyear radials on my car. The times provoke such ridiculous notions precisely because they don’t seem so ridiculous in these times.
It’s been a while since my last entry. My faithful blog-poster has reminded me weekly that I need to give an update. I’ve wanted to do so, but each week seems to be stuck in the same loop. I don’t want to write anything that just adds to the noise of everyone else trying to say something helpful. I’m sick of the overuse of terms like “uncertain” and “unprecedented” and the phrase “public health measures.” Even if those words are still needed, they hurt my head. I am very thankful for Cliff Herring’s sermon a few weeks ago that did more for me in restoring perspective to those terms than anything I’ve been able to come up with on my own. If you missed Cliff’s sermon, treat yourself and thank me later: https://www.onlinecfc.com/messages/an-uncertain-now-a-certain-then-
Like many of you, I am experiencing the weirdest existence right now. I am staying faithful to my responsibilities and going about my days investing time in prayer and preparation. I still have a strong sense of purpose, even hope. My family has stayed healthy. But I feel so disconnected from people in general. Apart from my family, it is difficult to process how folks in the church are doing. Please don’t hear a tone of complaint or an appeal to pity. These are honest observations. There seem to be things going on in me and in those around me, in our church and community--things that have an unclear purpose. What has everything in the past year done to us? What has it done to the development of our kids? What has it exposed in our marriages? What has it shown us about who we are, especially among those of us who have a confession of faith? As one of our student ministry leaders said yesterday, “I believe that God is still producing fruit, but I sure miss the encouragement that comes from seeing it.”
A bright spot has come from the way we have adjusted to the challenges of the past year. Many more of us in the church have stepped up to take care of those in need. As I said, as a staff in ministry, it is often difficult to get our arms around what is going on in this body of believers, especially now. At times, we have been cut off from our normal approaches to care and assembly. It is here that my loathsome disconnection from others meets the loving ministry of the body at large. Where we can’t be the pastors, or where we aren’t even aware that we could be, many of you have stepped into the role. You have made simple connections with those who need to hear from a fellow believer that communicates a shared life no matter the proximity. You have reminded me that even when there is a distance, there doesn’t have to be a disconnection. Thank you for that. Whether you have sent a card or made a phone call, shared a meal or been a private taxi, we have been made spiritually stronger because of those spiritual connections. To God be the glory!
We are already moving into the new year, boldly going where no one has gone before. My heart beats more freely knowing that we go there together. We go by faith and not by sight. Kirk out.