Crossing the Rubicon

Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The Rubicon was a small stream in northern Italy that Julius Caesar crossed in 49 BC with his unstoppable army. It was the point of no return and it was a sign that at that point you were committed, you were there to stay and everybody knew that.

I wonder if we have crossed the Rubicon here.

In the field I mean.

I've been wanting to do a post here for about two weeks on how we are making our way here, but busyness has kept my attention elsewhere.

But we are doing ok here.

We are enjoying field life and learning what it means to be a rural pastor. The location is nice and there is a sense of peace about being here that makes it feel alright. The speed of life is a little slower and people have been cautious with building relationships with us, yet more and more people are trusting us and inviting us into their homes and lives, and that's just been something we've known is going to take a long time.

We were told that the people out here are good people and that is true. We are strongly supported here for the most part. Yes I've made mistakes along the way but people are gracious and forgiving and that gives me hope too. For us and for them.

The workload and busyness of life seems in such contrast with the pastoral setting of life in the field. On one hand it may appear serene and reflective, yet underneath the workload is full on and the emotional demands of the work are really surprising. I think that just has to do with being able to leave your work at work. I've never been great at just shutting it off inside myself and going home, but I had been learning that in our last place. Here it seems like I have to relearn that again.

So it's good, and Lauralea and Micah seem ahead of me in coming to that conclusion, which makes my life much more liveable.

But this Rubicon thing, this crossing of an invisible line that makes one committed to the whole endeavour seems to have happened somewhere along the way.

I had an epiphany the other day that went something like this. If I don't do my work well, I could lose my work (job) and not only that, but I would also then lose our home (Because we live in the churches house) and then lose my sons school and his friends and Lauralea's friends and on and on. How horrific that all would be.

I mean, I could face losing my job, but then our home and life too? I don't like that one bit.

Then came the epiphany, I like it here and I want to be here and be part of this community. Yes losing my job I could deal with, but leaving the community, I'm not sure I could do that easily.

Yes on one hand that then puts amazing pressure on me to keep it all together because our life seems to hinge on my success at work. But better and clearer still is the sense that I want to be here.

I haven't always wanted to be here you know. :) I mean, I came here because I was asked to come here by, I believe, God. But you drag your emotions by the scruff of the neck along with you and eventually the feelings start to get in line.

It feels like we may have crossed that line, into the land of liking it here.

Yes Lauralea and I are really struggling with what it means to be parents and grandparents with only one child left in the house, and it is a real hard season for us right now. And yes the work is very demanding and challenging and I work hard to try to carve out some time off each week with limited success, but...

We like it here. I like it here.

Honestly that is a hugely vulnerable thing to admit. But here we are, fumbling towards eternity living in a place God brought us to. A place and a community and a people. And we like it here.

May we be able to remain here just as long as He ordains it to be.


  1. This is good to hear, Randall. I was thinking about you guys and the field just the other day. I'm glad things are progressing this way.

  2. I think that living in the field and becoming one with the field has been a journey in itself. First you made the physical move, and now it seems you are spiritually moving there. All in its good time.

    It wasn't going to happen over night, and learning how to invest in people's lives takes time, and in time either they will accept you or reject you.

    Stay true to your vocation and let god be god and allow him to lead you deeper into field life because that is where the rubber meets the road.

    You are doing good things and things are getting better it seems from the way you have shared them here.

    Another season is upon us and here is another opportunity to grow with the field and its people.


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