Wednesday, September 21, 2016
When I Don't Know What to Do
September 21, 2016 It's been a frustrating day. Some weeks ago, I had compiled notes from various classes I have taught over the years on subjects ranging from Bible studies to leadership to family dynamics. I had planned on reviewing them with a colleague to evaluate them for use in training pastors in Cuba, but when I needed them today, I couldn't locate them. I've looked everywhere I can think of, to no avail. Normally, this would be merely an inconvenience, but I had counted on this material to form the basis for what I would be doing in Cuba over the next few years, and losing them feels like losing my anchorage in a storm. The plans I thought would carry me into these next few years have suddenly evaporated, and I don't know what to do. I know Christian brothers and sisters who would tell me to rejoice; that God is going to replace my plans with his own...all of which may be true, but at the moment, I feel lost and at loose ends. It's not a nice feeling; I feel restless, unsure of my next move. For someone who for more than twenty years has had a pretty clear sense of purpose and direction as a pastor, this is very uncomfortable. For all these years, I've set goals, dealt with obstacles, thought about my next step. For the past two years, I've been sorting through what retirement means, and what purpose God has in store now. I had thought about this for years, tried to wrap my mind around how to function in retirement. It's been somewhat uncomfortable to be at loose ends, and I thought I had finally figured out at least one major component of it all. Apparently, not so much. There is however, a light in this cloud of confusion. Whenever we don't know what to do, it's a good time to pray. So I will. With thanksgiving, my declaration of faith. Jehoshaphat and his armies were outnumbered and outclassed. It was a crisis of major proportion, so not knowing anything else, he turned to prayer. "O Lord," he said, "We don't know what to do, but our eyes are upon you." (2 Chronicles 20:12). Not a bad plan. Not bad at all.