Lisa and I recently visited with friends who go to the church I just left. We had a nice time together. They said it just felt to them like we were on vacation. I laughed. I said it sure doesn't feel like that to me! I have an enormous feeling of peace about this whole thing. I realize my leaving the church was sudden and shocking. But there is a good pastor there now who is doing an excellent job. Far better than I could. And I'm thankful for that.
It got me thinking about how this whole thing happened. I have struggled for years with my call, my vocation, and my employment with the institutional church. I've shared that struggle with you quite openly, much to the chagrin of many. Then, on one night after one of the most difficult meetings I've ever had, I absolutely knew that I it was finished. I had always asked for clarity when it was time for me to step aside. And it came. As clear as the moon was in the sky on that crisp Wednesday night, so was the clarity that came to my heart and mind. I was done.
Years of struggle over in a moment. Some have unkindly implied that it was like years of depression and thankfully I finally ended it with a bullet to my head. I would rather compare it to months of a very uncomfortable pregnancy finally resolved with a new birth. For that's how it feels to me. It doesn't feel like suicide at all. I feel like a new man, both inside and out. And I am embarking on a transformed life. The wind is in my face. New lands lie before me. The thrill of adventure stirs within me.
In spite of the dissenting voice of some, I am still a pastor. I have come to a new certainty already. I am passionate about helping everyone in the world, no matter of what faith or no faith, to be free to be transformed spiritually. And that's what I'm setting out to do.