I’m hopeful one day soon I will be a Commissioned Ruling Elder in this small congregation called Randolph Heights.
This fall I began the last of the required classes from Dubuque Theological Seminary. The Seminary has taken me through all of the requirements the Presbyterian Church requires for a Commissioned Ruling Elder (or CRE), yet I find myself in limbo. In other words a state of confinement or transition. I’m not yet finished, yet I’m not told how to proceed further.
In the sense I’m confined, I have lost contact with the CRE committee. No returned emails or phone calls from the group of people who are to be guiding me through this process. Originally I was told there were four additional requirements I need to meet in addition to the eight classes required. Yet, I’m confined in the sense that I have received no direction on how to proceed through the remaining requirements. I’m also confined in the sense that although I should have an advisor or mentor to guide me in the process, I have none.
I am in transition in the sense that I am not finished with the process. I desire to be moving forward, either in serving the church in an official capacity or to know just what I have remaining so that a plan can be formed, direction restored, and the confinement ended. I have fulfilled the Church’s requirements, but not Presbytery’s. So here I am… waiting and wondering.
I am reminded of the passage from Isaiah, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.” and from the Psalms, “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” How do God’s plans and ways intersect our journey in life? Even when we seem to have lost direction in our life or feel we are in a time of confinement or transition, the Lord has a plan and purpose. In the beginning of a journey we may feel very sure of the plan God has for us, but the intersection is often a wrestling match.
When I wrestled, I experienced many bloody noses, a separated sternum, a bloody chin requiring seven stitches and many sore muscles. I had exhilarating victories and crushing defeats. I now find myself wrestling through the intersection of a new journey. When we move forward in our spiritual journeys we often find they are more akin to a wrestling match than a simple stroll along a walk-way. I hope to share with you, my wrestling match. The journey so far…