Old Friend . . . New Beginning

Posted: February 17, 2010 in Spiritual
Tags: , , , , ,

There was one big suitcase, as I remember.

I muscled it on the ferry and headed for the mainland.  The weight was more than it should have been, almost as though there was a stowaway midst the clothing.

Really, it was the finality of this trip and the months preceding it.  I was tired of running from God and had surrendered my educational and career plans to a call to the “ministry”, of all things.  My superficial, social high school experience had disappeared like a mirage upon graduation.  So had my family, as dysfunctional as it was . . . poof . . . gone.  My parents had finally given up and to be truthful, I was thankful.  I sat there stiffly, melancholic memories monopolizing my mind.  I was Hymie, the “Get Smart” robot . . . someone had opened a hatch in my metal back, grabbed a handful of wires, pulled them out and closed it.  The emotional circuitry was scrambled.

There were tears.  Symbolically, it was an end to one season of my life and the beginning of something new.  The only comfort that I had was the belief that I was obeying God, who was still a new friend.  I never loved Him then as I love Him now.  I couldn’t have.

As I close a 34-year chapter on pastoral ministry, there is still a degree of sadness and grief.  So many things that I wanted to see happen . . .  In my own strength, I cannot build God’s church.  He is the Architect, the Builder . . . the only one who can make it grow.  I am a stone . . . “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”  That’s what Peter, the Rock said.

Today, I am not numb or emotionally scrambled as I was in the fall of 1973.  Sad . . . yes . . . but more than comforted.  I am excited because I am following a friend that I have known now for 39 years, an old friend.  He has been a constant through those years, never failing, and we are headed into a new future, one that continues to serve His greater plan.

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Comments
  1. Linda says:

    Ahhh … good, good words, Karl. Thank you for sharing them … you are not alone in your sadness and grief in the “closing” of this chapter – however, I firmly believe that you will always be in pastoral ministry, it’s just taking on a different form. You will always be a pastor, a shepherd and God will take you to new pastures of people for His purposes. Let me read to you from a writing by Frances J. Roberts, c1973:

    “O My child, let Me speak to thee, and let My Spirit direct thy life. I may lead you in unexpected ways, and ask things of you that are startling, but I will never guide you amiss.

    “Across thy path shall fall the shadow of My hand, and wheresoever I direct thee, there shall ye see My power at work, and there shall come forth from they ministry that which shall glorify Me.

    “Do not walk according to they natural reasonings, but obey the promptings for the Spirit, and be obedient to My voice.

    “I need those who will be completely flexible in this way, because there are a multitude of souls who are searing for Me, and would never come into contact with Me in a personal way through the channels of the organized church.

    “Ye shall go as Philip went – at the behest of the Spirit – into the places that are out of he way, and bring light on My Word to those who are in need.

    “Stay in an attitude of prayer and faith, and I will do the rest.”

  2. Linda says:

    Sorry for those typos, Karl (so much for my proofing!); here’s the corrected version!

    “O My child, let Me speak to thee, and let My Spirit direct thy life. I may lead you in unexpected ways, and ask things of you that are startling, but I will never guide you amiss.

    “Across thy path shall fall the shadow of My hand, and wheresoever I direct thee, there shall ye see My power at work, and there shall come forth from thy ministry that which shall glorify Me.

    “Do not walk according to thy natural reasonings, but obey the promptings of the Spirit, and be obedient to My voice.

    “I need those who will be completely flexible in this way, because there are a multitude of souls who are searching for Me, and would never come into contact with Me in a personal way through the channels of the organized church.

    “Ye shall go as Philip went – at the behest of the Spirit – into the places that are out of the way, and bring light on My Word to those who are in need.

    “Stay in an attitude of prayer and faith, and I will do the rest.”

  3. Sarah Filegar says:

    I know you probably already know this, but when God closes one door, He always has another one open for us…we feel the sadness of a closed door…it has a finality to it somehow and yet, there stands the new door and waiting to go through it with us is God Himself..calling us to a new adventure, a new journey, a new chapter in our lives….moving on is scary at best..even when we are excited about it, because we can’t always see the full map of where God is taking us… but He sees it and that is what we can trust in and allows us to move forward with confidence and excitement for the road that lies ahead!

  4. Pat says:

    I remember hearing “someone” say one time something like this: “Perhaps we should really only attempt things in life that require God to “show up” for us to be successful. If what we’re trying doesn’t require God – then it’s probably not worth doing”.

    This approach to life is a big challenge for me, and I constantly battle trying to take this approach – it goes against my nature.

    Karl – It’s really cool to see you doing it with your life’s work… I have a good feeling God WILL “show up”.

  5. Maribeth says:

    Karl, may I ask you a question?
    If the answer is ‘yes’ read on. If it is ‘no’, well that’s okay too.

    Why were you thankful when your parents ‘gave up’?

    • pumbinator says:

      My Dad was abusive with Mom . . . both physically and mentally by times. I loved him but was also afraid of him. They just didn’t work as a couple. I don’t want you to hear me saying bad stuff about Dad . . . I am glad that he was my Father and I, his son.

      • Maribeth says:

        I’ve lived some of that story – one pastor told me he felt like I was holding my breath and he would like to see my breathe again.
        I am breathing – at times the very breath of God. At other times the constricted breath of someone drowning and then God rescues me again.
        We love you Karl; I’m not sure if this is a chaotic time in your life or not (emotionally) but I know this- God loves and cares more for the man, Karl, then the pastor, Karl. AND still,His gifts and callings are irrevacable.

      • Maribeth says:

        sorry about my spelling karl – ‘me breathe’ and ‘irrevocable’
        funny creatures we are! Ha.

  6. […] Old Friend . . . New Beginning February 20108 comments 3 […]

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