Last night I waited four agonizing hours -- well, really just three. I knew that Central Woodward Christian Church in Troy, Michigan was discussing my future. Troy is 3 hours ahead, so as the evening wore on, with my stomach tossing and turning -- yes I was anxious about my future. Would they hear the call or not. Just before 8 PM PDT, the phone rang and the word came, the church council had voted unanimously to call me as their pastor. I must still receive the approval of the congregation, which I will meet in a couple of weeks.
And so a new adventure begins. I will leave behind a congregation I love to lead one I do not at this point truly know. I've been searching for biblical analogies for where I've been and for where I'm going. No analogy is perfect. But I'm picking both Moses and Joshua, knowing full well that both images have their problems. For nearly four years I've been pastor of the Lompoc church, leading them through the wilderness, and like Moses, I won't see them traverse into the promised land. Someone else will receive that call, and that person (whether female or male) will be the Joshua for that congregation. At the same time, as I move to Michigan, I become Joshua for them. They too have been in a four year wilderness journey, finding themselves and their calling. The parting of ways here will be with tears and the joining together there will be with anticipation at what will be.
I'm sad and I'm excited, normal emotions I suppose, as we make our journeys in life.