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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Depart to serve…

 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (KJV)

My entire life I’ve seen the words, “Enter to Worship, Depart to Serve.” Emblazoned somewhere in nearly every church to which I belonged my entire life, I’ve known the words, but not experienced them like this before. No fan of endings, with six months participation in the God Sized Dream Team book launch project drawing to a close, I’m feeling the inevitable discomfort. Except that this exit is like leaving church after worship. I am taking what I learned, what God grew in me in this six months’ time, and am prepared to give it to the world.

And with that, I bid this chapter “farewell.” 
I’m departing to serve.
Recently I came across author Anne Lamott’s reference to the Four Immutable Laws of the Spirit, and through it gained a new lens through which to view the Master’s Work. These laws help me manage my natural impatience, being mindful that there are things I can do while awaiting His Will and His timing, and most importantly for this; endings are merely benedictions. Harrison Owen wrote the Four Immutable Laws of the Spirit:
Whoever is present are the right people.
Whenever it begins is the right time.
Whatever happens is the only thing that could of happened.
And when it's over, it's over.

It’s over. We knew when Holley heeded God’s call and drew us together, a diverse and unwieldy group of strangers,  it was only a six month commitment.  Six months was an eternity at the time, and none of us considered an end and the “after.” We were so very certain that we were hitching our wagons to her shooting star that we risked missing the enormous blessings God had in store, unleashing new anointings, knitting together new kinships, taking us as far beyond a book launch team…“as far as the east is from the west...” Psalms 103:12 (NIV). It’s over, and now I understand that this is a good thing.

I thank God for releasing me from my fear of OVER, appreciating that this end is but a benediction; a blessing over what comes next. In the Orthodox Christian Church,  benedictions are given at both the beginning and the ends of service. We enter (not only into spaces, but into relationships, seasons) understanding that in life, things change. Things evolve. Appreciating what God has revealed, I can say farewell with minimal sadness. Though this time draws to a close, I take away so much while leaving only what no longer serves me behind.
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