I love the title for today’s Rambling: “Everything Changes But Beauty Remains.” I wish I could say that I came up with it, but I didn’t. I got it from one of my dear students, that sweet Kelsey girl who titled a picture album on Facebook that way. It touches something deep in me. Especially now. A few weeks ago I was told by my District Superintendent that the Bishop has decided to not reappoint me to the Wesley Foundation. Basically that means that as of July 1st I will no longer be the Methodist campus minister at WKU. While I cannot speak to what the Bishop’s reasons for this move are (really because I honestly don’t know them), I can say that my Board of Directors has been very supportive of our ministry and the direction we have been going, as well as the students who are connected to the Wesley Foundation. Our ministry has been thriving and growing. What seems to make the most sense to me is simply to say that this is just the Methodist way. I don’t particularly understand it, but God has asked me to trust Him. So that’s what I’m doing.
Saying goodbye to nine years of ministry in a place I deeply love is hard. There’s just no way around it. What sustains me is the belief that everything of value that we have experienced together does not pass away. Instead, I find that those places of beauty that have touched our hearts over the years are of an Eternal quality. Nothing can destroy them. Their impact is lasting. Those beautiful moments will transcend time and space, planting themselves firmly in the hearts of those who have been touched, transforming us and finally birthing new beauty in a way that only God’s Harvest can.
I speak from experience. I have seen how bonds of friendship remain after transition, forged in the grace of God’s abiding love, covering distances and spanning years to keep hearts connected to each other. It is quite simply . . . beautiful. And I know from my own life that there are those Holy Moments that continue to speak to me, bringing new revelation and insight, even though the temporal time signature is long gone. Only God can do that. And only the things that God is in have any lasting value anyway.
In the past nine years I have tried to see and lift up those things of Eternal value. That has been the gift of the e-letter for me. As I pondered what to share each week, something that resonated deeply in my soul would emerge. I found that the message I most wanted to share was also the message I most needed to hear; each one helped me connect to the presence of God always near, always inviting me to have His perspective instead of my own. I love that I can still look back over these “ramblings” and still hear my sweet Lord speaking to me. He is so good.
So that never changes: the sweetness of a Lord who continually invites us to share His Eternal life bursting upon our ordinary mundane ones. I am confident that even though this chapter in my life (and that of the Wesley Foundation) is ending, God is not through bursting in on us yet. As I said in a message during worship a couple of weeks ago, the servant may change, but the Holy God who fills the vessel does not. God is not going anywhere. And at the same time God is going wherever I end up. Praise the Lord!
That is where I leave you my dear ones, in the Almighty Hands of the God who loves you so much. The old song is still true: He’s got the whole world in His hands; He’s got you and me brother in His hands; He’s got you and me sister, in His hands; He’s got everybody here, in His hands; He’s got the whole world in His hands. And yes, He’s even got the Wesley Foundation securely in His hands.
This is me trusting,