Every once in a while I get the chance to go to a professional conference or an afternoon lecture for pastors. This past week Cornerstone University (where I completed my bachelor’s degree) had a conference for pastors on Mackinac Island at the Grand Hotel. It was an amazing time away of reflection and networking with other pastors.
The lectures were good, the food was amazing, and the setting was awe inspiring. Cornerstone was somehow able to arrange for 75 degrees and sunny with no clouds in the sky for the two days we were there! All of these things were good, but one thing that really settled in for me while we were in this fabulous setting was a deep and abiding gratitude for ReCAST Church.
As we networked and interacted with other pastors and listened to the lectures, a continuing and common theme was staying the course in tough times. Many pastors we interacted with are up against difficulty and are going through difficult issues with their churches. The incessant pleas from the speakers were to hang in there, remember your calling, stay the course, finish well.
I know it is beneficial to plan for tough times, and I recognize that I have no clue what is right around the bend for me, but I know that I am very joyful about my current assignment in life.
I have no need for anybody to tell me to just hang in there. I am thankful for my calling. I am grateful for the people I am called to serve. I am full of anticipation for what the future holds.
None of these things are in my control, and so I am all the more thankful to God for his peace and joy in my life. I know it doesn’t always work out this way, and it may not always be like that for me, but for now I am so grateful for a church without major crises.
I am grateful for a place to serve with joy, peace, and purpose. I am glad that my gifts are currently able to be applied. I am grateful for so many volunteers who serve to make things run smoothly at our little gathering. And I am grateful for times to get away to regain the perspective on just how good things are really going.