In the United Methodist Church tradition, Elders are appointed to their churches by the Bishop with the help of the Cabinet. I am up for a change after 6 years serving my current church and have been appointed to a church in Tacoma. This is my fourth appointment and with each new setting, I had the opportunity to “re-invent” myself.
Much of what Richard Rohr (one of my favorite theologians) talks about is the duality between our false self and true self. As we mature in our faith, with each confession, with each surrender, with each step closer to the Divine we can shed the false-self just a bit more moving into our true-self, which is the perfect self we’ve been created to be.
When I start over in a new setting, my journey begins anew. Now my spiritual journey is always continuing, but a significant change like a move is a new chapter and an opportunity to explore how my true-self will navigate my new setting. I see this as an opportunity where I can consider what feels right and what I can let go of. Much like a young person entering her freshman year of college, I can enter into my new life with a new and refreshed identity, leaving behind those characteristics that do not serve me or the world well.
These times of transition are like writing my final few pages in my well-worn and loved journal, but then I go to Barnes and Nobels and buy the most beautiful new journal I can find. I bring it home, open to the first page and continue my life story. I love new journals. I love opportunities to tweak and adjust how I choose to live in this world. And I love the verses in Isaiah that read, “be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?”