The month of May is almost over, and June is upon us. For all you United Methodist Pastor's out there, June can only mean one thing...time for the annual move. Yes, it's that time once again when the Conference decides who stays and who goes, and so pastors and their families are busy packing, getting ready to transport their entire world to another church, another community, another congregation.
It wasn't so long ago that the expectation of a United Methodist Pastor was to serve a particular church for only two to four years. Hardly time for the pastor and the congregation to get to know each other, much less to form the kind of relationship necessary for successful ministry. Reality and experience tells us that it takes five years to build the type of trust and familiarity to really make a difference in the church and the community. I thank God every day that someone finally figured this out, and that pastors are now assigned for periods of eight to ten years or more.
But for those of you who are moving, I offer this little ditty. God works in His own mysterious way, and everything happens for a reason. When God closes one door, He opens another. So, to my colleagues out there who will be moving in the next couple weeks, I salute you, and I pray for your success in your Kingdom Work.
The telephone rang, the D.S. said, "Time to pack your clothes, your bed; July is near, it's time to go, So pack your things and don't be slow!"
"Another church, another place Has need of leadership and Grace. You've been selected to fill the spot, So pack and move the things you got!"
"This church is special, so take heed, And don't forget the things you'll need. Here's a list, short and concise; So check this list, yes, check it twice!"
"First of all, a willing heart Is necessary for new start. A life within His Will succeeds With feet that follow where He leads."
"Patience with a listening ear Will never fail, year after year. Knees well worn from hours in prayer, Lifting burdens to His care."
"A mind well versed within the Book, Helping others to take a look. A way with words, willing to preach, Heavenly insight, eager to teach."
"Now thus prepared, be on your way. Get a move on - don't delay! No one else can fill your shoes, So go and preach the Gospel News!"
And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:15:-)
Okay...time to be honest...how many of you out there are "Trekkies"? Confession time...I started watching Star Trek back in the late 60's when I was only 11 or 12. For many years I was satisfied with old re-runs, and have seen my share of "The Next Generation", "Star Trek Voyager", "Deep Space Nine", and "Enterprise". Also have my share of the movies (but will admit that some were much better than others). And today, May 8, 2009 the latest version of the franchise will be unleashed upon the public.
I have always been fascinated by Science Fiction. Love those old Hollywood movies of the 50's and 60's...so campy and technically unrealistic, yet thought provoking. But it was Gene Roddenberry who caught my attention with Star Trek. You see, Gene's vision for the future was two-fold. First, he was banking on the premise that YES, there would be a future for man, and two, that it would be better than today.
What I'm leading up to is this...as a poor, finite human being, limited in scope by my own thinking, education, and background, I still realize that there is so much we don't know or can't comprehend. Space is vast, beyond human comprehension. Yet, when the day is done, here we are, stuck on this orb we call earth, waiting for something amazing to awaken us.
As so, since it is Friday after all, I offer this little poem for your amusement and your contemplation. And as you are sitting in the movie theater this weekend watching Kirk, Spock, and the Enterprise hurtle through the cosmos once again, just remember this...you're not alone...
My Mind's Eye
Seek me not, for I'm not here, I'm off to worlds both far and near. Seeking, searching, reaching far, Traveling to the farthest star.
Faster than the speed of light, My mind's eye looks out each night. To see beyond th ereach of man, In search of that elusive land.
To leave behind all Mankind's sorrow, Pain and suffering; no tomorrow. All left behind, my mind is free, No earthly woes to bother me.
But rise with me and take my hand, We'll journey to that distand land. Kindred spirits, you and I, Together always we shall fly.
But back by morning you shall be, Mortal once again to see; The world you have, the world you hold, Is yours again to shape and mold.
But if you ever feel the need, Just trust your heart and then take heed; To find and love a friend so rare, Just close your eyes, and I'll be there.
In the immortal words of Mr. Spock, Live Long and Prosper