A number of years ago, a colleague shared with me a question that had stumped him in an interview. He was asked, "What is God teaching you right now?" It's a question I have come back to a number of times since, and I reflected on it last week as I prepared my sermon for today.
I believe that right now I am learning to live in uncertainty. Like most people, I want to have some sense of control over my life. The last few months, though, between my parents health problems and Daughter's issues have been full of unexpected twists and turns. It has been hard to plan anything, because I've been living on edge, waiting for the call that will cause me to drop everything and head off to be with family as we mourn the death of a parent.
I have been torn about seeking a new position, knowing that my ministry in this place is winding down, but facing the reality of limited possibilities near family and a reluctance to move further away in light of my parents' health issues.
Then there have been the larger issues in our society: the economic downturn and now the swine flu (have I mentioned how many hog farmers there are in the congregation I serve?)
In short, my life has felt very much out of control. I'm learning to live in the midst of the chaos, and to make plans and be willing to change plans. I'm learning that my security comes not from the circumstances around me, but from my faith in God. These aren't easy lessons, but they are important ones, and I'm beginning to learn how to put them into practice. I'm learning not to react to every health change my parents' experience. I'm learning to find peace in the midst of the chaos. That is what God is teaching me right now.