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25
Sep

Yes, We Get Paid to Pray

Posted on September 25th, 2012

Every third Wednesday of the month our pastoral staff takes a Day Alone With God. Each person finds a park, beach, a quiet place outside their home to intentionally spend time in silence, Scripture, etc.  Take a look at Rich Villodas’ recent blog called “Yes, our pastors get paid to pray and rest about his experience and to see specific instructions he gave our staff just last week around that day. As I look at my schedule, however, I realize I have moved to Days Alone with God almost weekly. And I wondered why? I believe it relates to the unique season of transition in which I find myself. We are in the final year of my stepping back from the role of Lead Pastor at NLF to a Teaching Pastor/Pastor-at-Large role. (Go to Pete’s Transition for the congregational announcement of our four-year process). It has been wonderful and a joy to coach Rich (along with Redd as the #2) as he prepares to take over in September, 2013. And I am excited about the doors before me, especially as they relate to writing, partnering with Willow Creek globally, and mentoring young leaders at NLF. At the same time, it has been disorienting. God is clearly pulling some roots out of me that need to be pulled. He is planting new seeds. Most importantly, I am in a rich transformational season that I do not yet understand. Richard Rohr, in Falling Forward, suggests there are two halves to life, noting that the true faith journey only begins at this point, that up to now all has been preparation. This may, perhaps, apply to me, but I find it almost impossible to get my arms around it. But I do know this is true: “There is a deeper voice of God which you must learn to hear and obey in the second half of life.” For this reason, I feel an enormous pull to get in my car, drive to Jones Beach in Long Island, and spend a day with Him. So I am going to the beach a lot. The following poem by Ken Untener has been meaningful for perspective.  Enjoy it. “Prophets of a Future Not Our Own” It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision… We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest. We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker. We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

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