Tonight we say goodbye to 2008. I'm not sure if seeing the year pass into history saddens me or if it makes me glad. It has been a year with few major changes, positive or negative.
At the beginning of 2008, I believed that God was calling me to help with the planting of a new church. That has not come to pass. A number of circumstances came up which put that on hold indefinitely. God has also kept me in the current church, even though it is dying or dead. For some odd reason, there still seems to be a ministry for me there. I have no idea what 2009 will bring.
My duties as an educational assistant have changed. Instead of working in a single self-contained class, I now travel to a number of classes within the building. It makes the day go a bit faster and I get to work with a variety of students. I'm still coaching basketball, but this year it seems there is more teaching needed as far as skills go.
Our daughter, Jennie, has flown the coop and made her way to the left coast, where she is trying to leave her mark on the film industry. I'm looking forward to seeing how God works in and through her. Josh, our son, is halfway through his architecture studies, and is still enjoying it.
My beautiful wife, Jan, continues to minister in a Christian school, although this year her duties have increased. We are grateful that her parents are in town so we can see them and help them as they need it.
God continues to teach me, and strip ideas and beliefs from me that I don't need. I'm finding that I am being increasingly, as imonk so succinctly put it, "reduced to Jesus." I'm seeking to follow more closely the Rabbi presented in the Gospels, rather than than the one created by modern Christendom. I'm finding that the pursuit is a lifetime thing rather than a one-time "turning everything over to God". Actually, spending a lifetime trying to follow Jesus so closely that I am covered in the dust from his feet is not a bad way to live. There are days when I sense his presence right there with me, and there are days when I wonder where he is.
As I enter 2009 I journey down a back road that is shaded by trees that have grown over the road and made the path very dark. It's not scary. It's more like an adventure, like exploring a path that you know leads somewhere. The question is where? I don't have an answer. Only God does, and he hasn't chosen to let me know. So, I journey on, step by step, walking by faith and not by sight.
Maybe in 2009, the branches will part and a bit more of the path will be revealed.
Happy New Year everyone! May you have a blessed year.
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