New Things. Good Things. Right Things


 I am about to do a new thing;

    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness

    and rivers in the desert.  (Isaiah 43:19)

 

A few weeks ago I was at a social event with a friend of mine from wayyyyy back.  She and I used to work together a long time ago and even though both of us have moved on from that job, we’ve stayed in touch.  It was a small group – small groups, after all, are the only safe ones, but I was the only one there from her previous workplace.  As it does, the conversation steered towards work and since I was the only one there who didn’t work in the same place, I just sat back and listened.  The conversation pretty quickly turned into a workplace bashing.  Generally, none of them liked anything about what they did at their jobs, had very little respect for many colleagues and certainly not for their managers.  At some point, one of them commented that they would leave except that they needed more time contributing to the pension fund. I was a little appalled at the almost contagious attitude of disdain and disregard this whole group of, well, smart and capable women were showing for the place that they spent the majority of their week.  And for what?  A few extra bucks on their pension check?  That just seems wrong.  On top of it all, it seemed like there was a culture of disdain at this workplace; that it was far more acceptable to feel like working was a horrific burden that they were all martyrs to, and being enslaved to a pension amount was a ‘right’ attitude, and a ‘responsible’ attitude.

 

I confess to feeling smug and sanctimonious.  After all; I love what I do at the church and have so much respect for our Community.  My pension doesn’t play into my reasons for working; mostly.  I think that what I’m paid is fair and is sufficient; mostly.  I do believe I have the best working conditions around.

 

But then, something happened.

 

I tested positive for Covid.

 

Now on the surface, this wouldn’t seem like a ‘big-deal’ to any of you.  We’ve known for a long time that this virus is very contagious.  We’ve also known for a long time that we are more likely to catch Covid than not to.  We’ve all vaxxed and boostered; but that only makes the course of the disease less virulent.  Our church has moved into virtual meetings and worship reasonably easy, and we have a whole congregation full of people who show gifts for ministry and are perfectly capable of holding down the fort if need be.

 

But I hugely wrestled with myself.  I wrestled with myself, first, because it was a ‘weak’ positive, and I kept trying to believe that a weak positive meant a false positive, so I tested a second time.  Yup – it was positive.

 

But I didn’t WANT it to be positive.  I had a lunch meeting today with a person that I’ve been dying to meet and talk to because they are a Very Impressive Person, and besides, I love lunch out.  But as Joyce Firlotte keeps reminding me “we just need a good dose of common sense”, and common sense prevailed and I canceled my lunch.  The good choice.  The best choice.

 

Then I emailed the Covid team to tell them that I had tested positive.  Ruth Anne Johnson just sent me back a one-liner saying “Well you need to stay home.  Send us your bulletin and we will figure it out”.

 

But I didn’t WANT to send stay home.  I want to be with all of you.  Leading worship.  Visiting.  You know – the right and ministerial things that I so smugly and sanctimoniously held up as an example (without them actually knowing it) to my friends.  The good choice would be to stay home.  The right choice is to do what I need to for you and for God, and to trust the gifts that all of you have been given, and trust that God will still move our church in God’s direction without me.  (Or really, with me; just not at the front leading).

 

Sometimes doing what’s new is hard.  Sometimes doing what’s right and good is hard.  We all have internalized social expectations and preferences that are hard to recognize or even admit to.  You know, that we are measured more by the size of our pensions or our dogged adherence to the Protestant work ethic.  That leadership is measured by your commitment to the role, rather than taking a back seat and letting go of your control.  Or even that it would be o.k to ‘cheat a little’ on Covid precautions because, after all, the government allows it and we’ve been careful for oh so long…..

 

But God is calling us to a different Good Thing, a different Right Thing, and a different New Thing.  But in the words of Isaiah – we need to ‘perceive’ it.   We need to ‘see’ our lives differently, and allow God to lead us through this.

 

Hang in there, my dear Bethel Family.  I know that we are all trying to do what is New, Good and Right.  Maybe together, we can figure this out, and ‘see’ what God has for us.

 

Blessings today, and remember you are loved.

~Rev. Lynne

 


3 thoughts on “New Things. Good Things. Right Things”

  1. I love your blogs even though I don’t respond often. This good today. Relax, we’ll figure it out. Yes, sometimes choices are hard.

    Reply
  2. Sometimes it is harder to figure out the “right ” thing to do than other times. We can only do our best. Somehow we will get through this. Especially by depending on each other.

    Reply

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