As many of you know, I left full-time ministry about 18 months ago after helping to start a church here in San Francisco. The impetus for my leaving had nothing to with some scandal or financial collapse, but rather about "call" and my own need to discern where God was leading me in ministry. The subsequent months have been filled with some awesome adventures and I am grateful for the luxury/blessing/privilege to wander a bit.
Throughout this time, I've been consulting, I released a book and I'm getting re-engaged with a local church community, all the while, I've been fully engaged in the process of discerning where God may be leading. And while there are no life-shattering "What's next for Bruce" announcements to come -- especially since the Stephen Drew trade has taken Oakland A's shortstop completely off the table -- some clarity is emerging and I have been able to better frame some possibilities.
Still, this time has become far more paralyzing that I had thought it would be because, like everyone else, I can over-think, over-analyze and base decisions on some time-frame that is built on my own ego needs and not fueled by where God may actually be leading. As part of my discernment, I am constantly checking in with the family to see how they are doing in all of this. This is a recent conversation between me and my daughters as I was contemplating serving in a local congregation somewhere or expanding in my speaking, writing and consulting work.
Me: "So, what do you think? Would you rather have daddy travel a little more, but when I am home, I am HOME. I can still be really involved in school, sports and other things? OR ... would you rather have me travel less and be home more often, but have more meetings at night and not as able to be around as much during the day?"
Middle: "Whatever gets us two bathrooms the fastest, that's what you should do."
Eldest and Young enthusiastically nod in agreement, and echo, "Yeeesss, two bathrooms."
So, even while some things are definitely becoming clearer, decisions are looming and I am feeling like some progress is being made, it's good for me to be reminded that I am not the center of the universe and it REALLY is not all about me. My natural tendency is be overly self-reflective, which often leads to justification for doing things that I want to do and not about what God hopes for me to become.
In this simple exchange, I have been invited back into faith and trust. God will speak when God speaks, I will hear when I am ready to listen and I will follow when I feel called. I just hope that there is a second bathroom in there somewhere ;-)