You, Master, started it all,
laid earth's foundations,
then crafted the stars in the sky.
Earth and sky will wear out, but not you;
they become threadbare like an old coat;
You'll fold them up like a worn-out cloak,
and lay them away on the shelf.
But you'll stay the same, year after year;
you'll never fade, you'll never wear out.
(Hebrews 1: 10-12, The Message)
I write this blog post to both SouthWest and Emmanuel. In the new reality of sharing my ministry I am experiencing the challenges of reconfiguring time, energy, priorities and being in two very different locations. I am also trusting the new application on my phone called Waze that guides me through the ever changing configurations of traffic jams, bridge closures and rush hour. I am learning to trust that this app can see things that I cannot, from satellite and other unseen locations. It certainly demands me to trust that “it” will get me through to where I need to be.
I need to trust God in the midst of reconfigured ministry, to believe that living one day at a time leads me forward. And that God is worthy of my trust, even when I cannot see a final outcome.
To get to the South Shore from my home in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce adds that extra time that makes what could be an hour commute between SouthWest and Emmanuel into much more. Into the changing realities of life and ministry I have put my house on the market and imagine a relocation outside of the metropolitan area of Montreal where I have lived for some forty years. I am both nervous and excited. I need to better navigate between two locations. And make a choice for my future years.
In the King James Bible that my father read diligently every day, the core text from Hebrews reads:
They shall perish, they shall all wax old
as doth a garment, but thou remainest!
I love that affirmation of faith.
One of the strong hymns of my youth is the classic Welsh one, familiar in music and speaking to my spirit in the midst of more life changes. It tells of journey and of pilgrimage and roots me in the faith of my ancestors.
Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but thou art mighty,
hold me with thy powerful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more,
feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
be thou still my strength and shield,
be thou still my strength and shield.
(VU # 651, William Williams, 1745)
Guide-moi, Berger fidèle,
en ce monde pèlerin,
prends à toi mon cœur rebelle,
guide-moi, sois mon soutien,
pain de vie, pain de vie,
de ta grâce nourris-moi,
de ta grâce nourris-moi.
Christ, tu es la source vive
des biens les plus précieux;
fais que pour toi seul je vive,
guide-moi du haut des cieux;
viens, protège, viens protège,
sois mon roc, mon bouclier,
sois mon roc, mon bouclier.
I’m going to supper with my sons to talk about a changing landscape of relocation and giving up a house and neighbourhood they have known for 23 years. I anticipate hearing from them: Make the best choice for you, you have our love and support, we will visit you no matter where you live Dad. And I anticipate the same sentiment between us as we individually and collectively discern future steps and decisions.
God is our bedrock,
Even when all changes: Thou remainest!