Life review is an essential part of proof reading your life. Rather than looking for errors in the proof reading of our lives; however, we often look at the body of work written to date and remember. We create ritual times for life reviews during weddings, funerals, and anniversaries.
Today is a special date for me. I was ordained as minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church on August 29, 1982. As I am writing this reflection I am reviewing the order of service on that sacred day in my life. The Old Testament reading was Jeremiah 1:1-10. You will remember that Jeremiah was a very young prophet and while I was no Jeremiah, I was very young.
"Now the word of the Lord came to my saying, 'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Then I said to the Lord, 'Ah Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.' But the Lord said to me, 'Do not say, 'I am only a youth..." -Jeremiah 1:4-7
My friend and mentor David G. Buttrick preached. Before the service, I spoke to him with fear and trembling saying I didn't know how to be a minister. He said bluntly, "You'll learn!"
I set out to learn. Five years following my ordination and installation at Iroquois Presbyterian Church, I departed on my journey to deepen my understanding on how to counsel.
Reading through a memory book given to me by the loving congregants of Iroquois, I read these words written to me from Robin Whitehouse:
"Dear Neal, you say you feel so inept in trying to help people with their problems. You are supposed to feel inept. You haven't lived very much life yet. You are adept in another way. You're adept at being young-ENERGETIC, ENTHUSIASTIC, HUMOUROUS, CARING, AND SHARING...by the time you accumulate your life's experiences and become adept at being a wise sage, you will be somewhat inept at being young."
I'm humbled that God called me to serve His people long before I knew how and I'm thankful for the wise ones you placed on my path who helped guide my inept/adept young self. To God be the glory!
Prayer for Today
Loving God, renew our call to be your servant and place in our lives the ones who will help to equip us on the journey of faith. Amen.