I’ve only been looking for a pastorate for a month now. Ten résumés and one “denial” email later and I already feel exhausted. I’m just ready to shepherd a congregation, love a community, share the great news of the Gospel, and see hope bloom.
We were about to leave for church on Sunday morning and for the first time in quite awhile I grabbed my non-preaching Bible. While preparing to hear Sunday’s message, I opened my Bible and noticed the words of inspiration penned for me almost six years ago when my family and I were about to leave the comfortable and step out in faith with our church planting endeavor. The words from Pastor Chris and the elders were an encouragement once again as we are now launching into a new and unknown Christ adventure.
I was encouraged most when I read, “May the Lord guide and bless you and your family in His blessed work.” His blessed work!! God knows and it’s His work and in His time, I will get to be a part of its blessedness. And so, I will slow down, worry less, and “smell the roses.”
This morning I received an email letting me know that the same elder who composed those words went on to meet His Savior yesterday afternoon. My family and I will never forget walking through his flower garden, smelling his roses, and learning lessons about fertilization, soil, and life. We will always treasure sitting in his kitchen snacking on a simply crafted sandwich and listening to the stories about the loves of his life – his garden and his God.
What we learned most from Ott was how to walk slowly, not be anxious, take time to enjoy the little things, and how to touch the lives of individuals with life-giving words of compassion along the way.