Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
In the midst of the hard work, reflection, and community that is the Bishop's Search/Nominating Committee I find myself in need of rest, of recharging the spirit within me. So I journeyed to The Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina to find peace, quiet, to re-engage with my bride, and to eventually leave this place ready for the next steps.
Having lived in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia for over 20 years as a Naval Officer the OBX was a staple; the place both our children learned to walk and swim, a place to go and relax, fish, surf, and most importantly reflect on God's call in our lives.
However, as we all know, when we make plans.....they don't often turn out as we have hoped. People say we make plans and God laughs. I don't believe that God laughs at our disappointments; God encourages us to find the good in the bad, the sunrise in the storm if you will.
The real question is "How do we handle ourselves knowing the full extent of Christ's love? During "beach time" this week (whenever a sunny hour presented itself) I found myself on the beach reading Nadia Bolz-Weber's" Accidental Saints. Nadia gave me direction and new insight about all the junk that gets in my way of remembering Christ's deep love for me.
In a story about Advent she suggests we make Advent lists, "they'd be like Christmas lists, but instead of listing things we want Santa to bring us, we could write down things we want Christ to break in and take from us. In the hopes he could pickpocket the stupid junk in our houses, or abscond with our self-loathing or resentment...maybe break in in the middle of the night and take off with our compulsive eating or our love of money. That's how God works sometimes. Not through things we are prepared for but through the things we don't expect."
So I've been trying to make the best of things with all this junk that gets in my way. I think this year I'll make an Advent list and ask Christ to come in and take all my junk away and leave all those wonderful memories of the OBX intact. Thanks be to God. Advent please come.
See Ya Sunday!
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