July is a month of anniversaries for me. July 1 I began my third year as pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church. July 1 also marks the beginning of my twenty-third year as a pastor in The United Methodist Church.
Hard to believe it has been that long. Truthfully I think sometimes how little I have really learned 🙂 I have joked that I have one year of pastoral experience repeated twenty-two times.
I could say the same (boy, just ask my wife) about marriage. Next Tuesday, Dana and I will have been married twenty-five years. THAT is even harder to get my mind around. Are we that old??? I have been married longer than I was unmarried. Wow.
Often anniversaries cause us to look back (as I am doing above). We should give thanks for the years we have enjoyed with our spouse, in work that we love. I wonder, too, if we ought to look ahead on these days as well.
The future is the only thing we can change, the only place where we can grow. Yes, it flows out of this present moment. But the past is immutable and while a source of gratitude it can also be a fertile ground for regret and pain.
In the future God awaits. In the future there is a place for change. In the future I can be a better husband, a more faithful pastor, a more deeply committed follower of Jesus Christ.
Here’s to many more milestones and anniversaries! And the future that contains them.
“This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
Jeremiah 29:11 – The Message