Today as I write this, I have a Ken doll (from the Barbie range) sitting in the front seat of my car with the seatbelt on. It is something that I had not really pictured would ever be in my life, but here I am, driving around with my ‘mate’ Ken (who is responsibly obeying the rules).
It leads me to reflect on some other things that maybe I hoped for, even wished or prayed for, but never really pictured would be a part of my life. Things like being in my current role of First Assistant Bishop or even living with my wonderful family in *our house (*let’s be honest – the bank owns a fair bit of it).
But what about you? Is your life the way that you pictured it might be? Is it better or worse than you hoped, dreamed or imagined?
Talking about ‘dreaming’, you, like me, might remember the lines from the movie ‘The Castle’ where the son yells out to his dad:
“Hey Dad, what’s a pulpit?”
“Where the minister gives his sermon from. How much?”
“Tell ’em they’re dreaming.”
Thinking about this quote, and where we pictured we might be as individuals or as a church, I wonder if we would have pictured congregations closing (and selling their pews and pulpits) due to decreased finances, low numbers, or a lack of pastors?
Unfortunately, this is the reality that we face. We might lament the fact that if we made this decision or that choice, or ‘went back to the glory days’ then things might be different. But the NCLS, Census and even anecdotally we can see the reality that is around us.
Even still, we have a strong call from God to listen to what He is saying to us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit, and we are called to go throughout our communities, across our State and country and into the world to ‘go and make disciples’.
The message that God loves us to the point of sending His Son to die for our sins on the cross; not leaving him dead, but raising him to life three days later so that we could have the hope of a future with God in heaven forever, is the perfect message to share about our preferred future.
So, I’ve decided to embrace Ken into my life. He follows the rules, doesn’t talk back to me, never screams or yells and is a good listener.
How can we, as individuals and as a church, embrace the reality we face in front of us, yet as called people of God, go out into our communities to engage people with God’s love in everyday life?
First Assistant Bishop, LCAQD