I want to begin with a quick note, a reflection; call it what you will. I’ve been thinking and praying a lot these last few weeks, perhaps more than usual. One thing that has become incredibly clear to me is how blessed I have been to be called to serve as your pastor. Yes, the days are often long, but we do good work and we do it together.
I am grateful to serve a wonderful congregation that continues to seek new ways to serve in Jesus’ name. I am thankful to be a pastor in the ELCA, where the slogan “God’s Work Our Hands” is more than words on a piece of paper. I am thankful for the support of a strong leadership team that listens to all voices before making a decision and I am thankful for staff that often goes above and beyond.
No doubt, there is no perfect church and in the days ahead we will face many challenges, but I am blessed to have been called to serve Good Shepherd. And now on with the show or the article as the case may be.
The other day while driving home I was stopped at a red light and I noticed an interesting license plate frame. It said, “Happiness is biting your parrot back.” Really? A few days later, stopped at another stop light, I noticed another license plate frame. This one said, “Failure is not an option.” Interesting. But what if failure is an option?
What if the licenses plate holder said, “Risk is an asset” or “I’ve failed and I’ve learned.” What if we gave ourselves permission do something different risking failure and knowing if we do fail, it’s all right.
Anyway, all of this got me thinking about a blog I read almost daily. The blog, titled “In the Meantime”, is written by Professor David J. Lose, Luther Seminary.
Professor Lose writes:
For most of us it’s more comfortable to keep pushing a system that doesn’t work than admit that we’re in over our heads and start to build a new system.
Ultimately, however, that’s our only choice. Because try as we might, we can’t stop time or move the world backward. We therefore need to move from a system of established rules and practices to one of constant experimentation and innovation.
But experimentation inevitably invites failure – something that terrifies most of us.
No one likes the thought of failure; fact is, we have been taught from a young age to be a success, to succeed. But what if we gave ourselves permission to experiment and allow failure to be an option.
Inaction is not an option. Inaction won’t solve a problem; in fact, inaction comes with its own risk.
What might you risk changing in your personal life? What might we risk changing in the life of our congregation, knowing failure is always an option?
In God’s grace,