My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
It happened after a small group session on “pastoral identity”, where five of us participants in the Lewis Fellows gathering on Church Leadership were talking about who we are. I had just mentioned a memory of my first official ministry position, one I had taken, to be honest, because I could not get a job as a pastor (the woman thing, you know . . . that, plus lack of experience, and a few other small details).
I was talking about one of the things I learned and how my experience in that job taught me so much. As I was talking a feeling started to creep up on me. For just a minute I could feel again that feeling I had when I first started out, the feeling that the best thing I could ever imagine doing with my life was following this strange man Jesus. Even if following led my to strange places.
Come to think of it, especially if following led me to strange places. See, back then I was all about doing whatever it took. That’s how much I really believed.
As I was describing my memories of these experiences and I began to feel that feeling again, unexpectedly tears welled in my eyes.
That feeling, well, sometimes I miss it.
I still believe. But as the years go by and the insidious effects of stability, career, respectability (believe it, friends) set in, well sometimes I wonder if I remember why I started all of this in the first place.
Later, when our discussion was over, a colleague came up to me and said, “You know, Amy, when you were talking earlier, just for a few minutes I saw something in your eyes. You seemed like a different girl for just a little while. Excited, animated. Whatever you do, don’t let that go.”
I really appreciated what he said. At first I thought my appreciation stemmed from the fact that he called me a girl just a few days before my 36th birthday (yikes!).
Later I got to thinking, though. There IS something different about living your life like the only thing that matters is following Jesus.
Did I ever really live like my soul was yearning, fainting even to be with God?
Do I ever live like that now?