A month has now passed since I resigned from my position as a pastor. I have an offer to go back to the world of hi-tech which I have accepted. I’ll soon again be a software developer- cubicle dweller. I’m really looking forward to a job where I can walk out at 5:00 p.m. and not think about it again until the next morning! I’ve had some time to reflect and here are my quick-hit thoughts on what I’ve learned through the last few months:
- It has been a real joy to step off the ministry treadmill. Sunday happens every seven days whether you’re ready or not. It hasn’t taken me long to get used to leisurely weekends. Saturday’s used to be spent pre-occupied with the next Sunday’s service and Sunday was “game day”. And there is no off-season. Anyway, it’s been nice to re-acquaint myself with how the rest of the world lives. I’ve also had an amazing summer with the family. My boys will only be boys for a few more years. I’m so thankful to have this precious time with them!
- What I’ll do differently if I return to ministry: I would not let frantic activity become a substitute for true spirituality. Now that I’ve experienced life off of the treadmill I won’t go back to the pace I was keeping. I’d put much more of my time and effort into developing other leaders and share the work much more than I did the first time around
- I’ve reflected a lot on my own identity. Much of it was tied up in my vocation. In some ways it’s easier to do ministry when you have the title to go with it… of course the title has its pitfalls as well. Now I’m really puzzling through the concept of the priesthood of all believers. I’ve been on both sides of vocational ministry and back again. I can’t tell which I prefer yet.
- I’ve rediscovered my love of music. Over the last couple years I’ve hardly done any playing for the sheer joy of it. Any practicing I did was to get ready for the next service or the next performance. I’ve been playing for fun again – no pressure. Just for my own enjoyment and as an offering of worship. I feel like a kid again!
- God is good. When I resigned I had nothing to go to. It was a huge step of faith for Pearl and me. Yet we felt completely at peace with the decision. Still there were some anxious weeks. I sent some resumes around to other churches in other cities and there were some possibilities, but it would mean uprooting from Ottawa (20 years here), selling the house and starting from scratch in a new city. After what we’ve been through leading up my resignation we really didn’t want to add further stress on top of it all. And then this opportunity in hi-tech (in this terrible economy!) came along. I believe that we’ll end up back in full time ministry at some point, but this job means we don’t have to leave Ottawa this summer and can take our time looking for the right place for us to serve.
Thanks to all of you who’ve been praying and supporting us in so many ways. We really feel loved as you’ve let God’s love for us flow through you. Your countless expressions of love have ministered deeply to both Pearl and to me. Thank you!