Sunday, July 19, 2009

Letting Go

Proverbs 16:9 (New International Version)
9 In his heart a man plans his course,
but the LORD determines his steps.

The members of a local congregation in need of a new pastor, were each given a list of 18 pastoral qualities to prioritize. From the results, the search committee would create a profile of the ideal replacement pastor.

While there is wisdom in defining the qualities sought in a pastoral candidate, this caused me to ponder the seemingly random way in which my life has unfolded.

Some might have a shopping list of "must have" qualities in a potential spouse, but I didn't. At first I didn't "see" Paul at all and by the time I did, I had already turned him down. I was beside myself a few months later when it dawned on me that I had make a mistake. We were both shy, so I was convinced that I had missed my one and only chance at happiness.

"He will never, ever again, ask me out, " I sobbed to Mum. But happily, he did, and at last we were both on the same page, at the same time.

By then I was in love because of what I saw in him, not because he matched a list that I had in mind. Before I met him, I didn't even know that I would love a man with strong leadership qualities and a heart of such compassion that it humbles and inspires me. And I'm sure that neither of us would have thought of picking someone with the qualities that we each have--we are so different in almost every way. But we complement one another so well that we fit like lock and key, and I am enough of a romantic to believe that we were made for each other.

All of this made me think of our culture of doing, planning; setting goals and being busy, versus waiting; listening; being still and knowing that God has an agenda.

While my life is a testimony to God having an agenda that is more wonderful than any I could have dreamed, I am still learning how to be still.

I pray that the congregation finds God's man or woman for their pulpit, and that if the person feels called by God to the church; that they throw out the list.


Deidra said...

As the wife of a man who has frequently been a candidate in the search process, this was a message I needed to hear.

Belinda said...

Your comment gave me goosebumps. I wondered why I wrote this, especially when there were no responses. I wondered if I was even right, or perhaps out of my tree. Now I am suddenly remembering Samuel's anointing of David, having passed by all of the most likely candidates--and come to think of it, I don't think that any of God's choices for leader would meet our logical criterion. What was Jesus thinking with those disciples? :)