Lucid thoughts, insecurity, and twenty five years of temporary work

Thursday, March 31, 2011
Maybe it's the new role of grandparent that has made me think about other parts of my life that are moving on, I don't know, but it feels like I've been having moment after moment of lucid thoughts and realizations.

Last night as I sat up, revisiting the days events, rethinking my responses to various situations and people needs, I started to wonder if I'll ever feel secure about the work that I do. I tend towards insecurity and feeling like a failure oftentimes. I was kind of surprised that I still sometimes feel that way about myself and the things that I do. Surprised because I've been doing this work for, what was it now, ten, fifteen, twenty years or so? I began to count on my fingers and the numbers began to add up to twenty five years of doing this work.

Wow, how did that happen? Twenty five years doing something temporarily, until God would lead me to my real life's work. Ridiculous, I know.

I did a lot of preaching in churches that needed a one Sunday Stand sort of guy, but it was in 1986 that Lauralea and I settled down in a small town in Ontario and was asked to become a lay minister there.

As I was reflecting on that late last night my heart skipped another beat, because as it happens, Lauralea and I will be near that small town in a couple of weeks and we are planning to go and worship there with old friends. Twenty five years and we are going back to visit the people who first recognized something in me enough to make a bold move and call me forward to serve them and God.

So that has me thinking, how will I mark the 25 year occasion? How will I celebrate? What food will be eaten and thoughts be considered? How shall I review the years and the thousands of stories?

I expect I'll celebrate by continuing on, doing the things I've been called to do. Working to be faithful and obedient to the One who asked me for my heart, and my life. At least until the real work comes along.

Ah there's the dinner bell, better get home.

From The Field.


  1. Is it all temporary work? Are we in training for something bigger?

    Sometimes I wonder.

  2. I guess in a sense everything we do is temporary work - we never know what's coming next and what we'll find ourselves doing. And again, because it's people, rather than widgets we invest time and energy in, there's never a finished product we can put in a box and ship off to a customer.

    And that probably also affects our sense of security: ask me what I do and I can show you calibrated controls, labelled antibodies and coated plates. Ask Linea and she can show you repaired teeth, re-aligned bite impressions and snug dentures. When you deal with the bits inside people then sometime you'll see the internal changes reflected externally, but there's seldom anything tangible one can put one's hand to. Some guys try to use tangible metrics - how big is my church, how much money was given, how many missions etc - but that's just externals. You won't see the husband loving their wives often, the kids that didn't steal or the old people that didn't despair.

    And in one sense it IS all temporary. You never know where you might be called, and in any case all these things are passing away. We just have to do the work we're given now and enjoy (or otherwise) that.

    Bet dinner was good. :)

  3. Good words Toni,

    and yes, dinner was exceptionally good. Lauralea has purchased a new recipe book and we are living on gourmet foods as she plays around.



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