By the way, it doesn’t bother me in the least when people tell me to my face that I’m wrong. Often, I am. And even when I don’t think I am, that good old First Amendment gives everybody the right to think and say that I am. It seems to bother people, however, to give voice to their disagreement at times. That’s okay, too.
After a four-year stint, Pastor Josh Patty has moved on. We all wish him well. I'll miss him, but he knows darn well that my reach extends to KC, so sooner or later some sort of gag will show up courtesy of moi.
I’m concerned that this whole search-for-the-new-pastor thing is taking on some kind of scary life of its own. And I’m also concerned that lingering disagreements about how former pastors or, for that matter, other people in church have done things in the past are getting in our way.
And so, some lessons!
(“And who is he to be teaching us lessons!?” Just a guy who pays attention and tries to learn things when life beats him about the head and body. And I’m not alone in that, we have a lot of savvy people at CCC.)
Lesson No. 1: Keep your eye on the ball.
Every beginning has living right within it an ending. The first time Josh walked through the door at Central Christian, it was guaranteed that there would be a last time he walked out the door. The same goes for every pastor the church has ever had. The same goes for me. The same goes for you. Pages in the book – you turn them.
A discussion of anything from the past which has present pain makes little sense. I’ve checked those beautiful new calendars that Karen has been selling. I really checked them over thoroughly. For the life of me, I cannot find a rewind button.
Quick, let’s do a prayer test! Right now, while you’re reading the blog, get out your watch. I want you to do an eyes-open test prayer. Look at your watch and pray with all your might that God will slow down the passage of time to 10% of the current rate. That should be easy, I’m not asking to stop time, let alone throw it into rewind. Remember, pray real hard! Ready? Go!
No, really – go!
Hey, obviously, you didn’t pray hard enough. Let’s give it the good old college try this time. Sacrifice something, burn a $20 bill! Ready? Pray!
Darn. What happened? The God who knows the falling of the sparrow, who created the DNA molecule, who put us around a star powered by nuclear fusion, He didn’t pull off a little thing like slowing down time when requested by really Godly people?
Well, no. I have no idea why. I’m nowhere near that smart. I just doubt that this particular prayer ever works under these experimental conditions.
With the assumption that is part of “The Plan,” what can we draw from that?
How about, don’t fret over the past, It’s DONE.
That doesn’t mean we ignore lessons. Josh was around when there were a lot of innovations, some of which were his idea. No doubt we'll keep some and alter others. I would like to keep the Tenebrae service. If we do, yippee. If we don’t, there’s not enough interest, and I’ll live with it. Not a big deal.
What else? Beats me. And if it takes until June to figure that out, no worries. If it turns out we don’t have the time, that means something wonderful will have happened and we didn’t need the time anyway.
Lesson No 2: See lesson no. 1. This isn't rocket science.
God bless the people who are doing the pastor search.
That being said: Relax. On the universal scale, it’s small stuff.
Do we need a committee to search for a dependable God? Nope, we got one.
How about a Committee to find us a Savior, a Christ? No, we already have the only one we’ll ever need.
Holy writ! We need the revealed word of God in English in our hands so we can become a little smarter in faith. Let’s get one of those, let’s appoint a committee!
Oh, yeah, that’s been done, too.
Music, that’s a hot button! We need music! A committee, committee! Oh, okay, I guess the hymnals do have a lot of pretty good stuff in them and we seem to have an abundance of really good musicians who are bringing in even more good stuff.
Maybe one of Christ’s messages is we don’t have to feel so serious and intense all the time.
Relax. Listen to the message. Feel Christ's message.
A touch of lyrical poetry from my misspent youth:
So long, Frank Lloyd Wright.
I can't believe your song is gone so soon.
I barely learned the tune
Frank Lloyd Wright.
All of the nights we'd harmonize till dawn.
laughed so long
Architects may come and
Architects may go and
Never change your point of view.
When I run
I stop awhile and think of you.
So long, Frank Lloyd Wright
All of the nights we'd harmonize till
I never laughed so long
To borrow from my brother Oce, Mizpah!