I naturally “lean forward” in a lot of what I do. I think a lot about how things will effect the future. Should we start this Bible study? What will that mean two years from now? How about in Lent or Advent? Is this something permanent or only for this one “unit”?
And right now… I am living two lives. Or, rather, I am planning two futures.
What Bible study should I be planning now to “synch up” with Easter? What’s our outreach strategy this year for Easter? How will we follow up on those prospects after Easter? Are we planning anything big for over the summer? What about the fall – what needs to start getting organized now? Who do I need to talk to so we can lay some groundwork? What seeds do I need to plant in the back of people’s minds so when it comes up in six months they’re prepared? All these questions revolve around my staying here. If I’m not here, the questions change considerably.
What needs to get done before I leave? What do I need to leave behind? What paperwork needs to be completed so the church can go for a while without a home pastor? What plans do I need to set up for a new congregation? What are my priorities when I touch down? Who do I need to talk to first? What worship planning do I have to do? How can I learn to do outreach there well?
And I’m living out two lives at once. I’m living out a future here and a future there.
I’m a cat.
And it is exhausting. I tried having a normal Sunday today. And a normal Sunday already calls for a lot of energy, as I see the bulk of my people today. It’s when I touch base with the most people in a very small amount of time. Most pastors are tired out after Sunday worship; for me, as an introvert, it’s even more wearying.
But today was worse. People asking me directly and indirectly what my plans are. Me advertising a new Bible study – that whether I go or stay will be able to wrap up before any possible leaving date (barring snowmaggedon). Me trying to move forward into… into two timelines, effectively.
I am here and I am not here.
I am looking forward to “collapsing the function” and having one future, not two, laid out before me. I am looking forward to having just one set of circumstances to look forward to.
In the meantime… I shall continue being a cat.
Either way… God has laid out two good futures. It’s not a choice of life or death, but of good and good. I see green pastures to one side, and green pastures on the other. I stand on the edge. Which good future will I have?
In either place, Jesus is still Jesus. The one who loved a sinner like me enough to take my place on the gallows is still Lord there and he is still Lord here, and my decision cannot change that.
So while it is exhausting…
… wherever this cat goes, it will still be good for him.