I opted not to audition for Leavenworth this year. I just can't get myself geared up to relocate again in another couple of months, and with all the moving and packing, I didn't have time to adequately prepare for the audition. I'm still young enough to do it next year.
Yesterday I went to Starbucks on 72nd to do devotions over a cup of Caramel Apple Cider. The two men sitting next to me are either pastors somewhere, or very devoted laypeople. I kept overhearing snatches of conversations about church building, pastors, etc. And as I left, they were praying.
I'm feeling at a loss over not doing this audition. Part of it has to do with being in touch with former studio mates now that Stacey is sick again. I don't feel like a failure, exactly, though that has come up, but I feel adrift. I don't know why I'm here. I'm at peace, or maybe resigned about where I am, the decisions I've made, and the places I've been since leaving Baylor, but one can only drift for so long. Or at least I can. I am at peace about quitting the mission. Conformation of that is the fact that I was instantly able to sleep through the night without pills, and I gained back 12 pounds in two and a half weeks. I really like my new job. I think I can make some good money for the first time in several years, and I may be able to finish paying things off and be done with it all. And then what?
I could go back and try performing again. Or I could travel. I'm kind of burned out on ministries for the time being.
Sunday I went to an Assembly of God church with a friend who is church hunting and I offered to go with him. Good sermon. Good music. Good powerpoint. Two altar calls. Lots of praying. Some praying in tongues and clap offererings and the like. To be expected. But it made for a two hour service. The sermon was on Psalm 23:6 "though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death." He referenced last weeks sermon on problems, reminding us that if problems are of our own making, we need to repent; if they are temptations, we need to resist; if we are being tresspassed agains, we need to release and forgive; and if it is a trial, we need to hold on and trust God. Then he talked about going through the valleys -- and how they are inevitable. Everyone has them, Christian and non-Christian alike. The difference being a chance to figure out what God wants you to learn from you valley. Also valleys are great places to learn how to pray. I felt convicted there. I think I didn't spent nearly as much time praying and reading my Bible as I could have when I was going through all of the upheaval of the past few months. Partly because I was told that I ought to go off for a while and seek God. So of course, considering the source, that was the very thing I resisted. To my detriment and no one elses. But the last point of the sermon was that simply going through trials is not a judgement on your faith. That was comforting. I've been feeling like I failed somehow because I couldn't be what they wanted of me. And judged and found wanting. And unfit for ministry. So, now that I'm out of the ministry, I suddenly want to read my Bible, and go to church, and continue Bible study. I'd been doing the manditory things -- bible study and church attendance, but my devotions went down the drain. Now I'm getting back in the swing of things again. A little at a time. And hopefully tonight I'll be done with work early enough to make Bible Study at Jacksons. It's going to be a long day. I have to teach and then get almost immediately on the road to make it to work by 3.