The Chair and the Desk, 10/14/15

From the chair:

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” 

-Colossians 3:12

I’ve been talking too much in class lately. Yesterday morning, there was a lot I wanted to say, but others were talking and the conversation kept departing from what I was thinking about. I listened, but I also thought about this verse: compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. When I dominate conversations, it’s often because I lack all five of these things, and that lack also causes me to do more harm (and neglect more good) beyond these discussions.

Because I am chosen, sanctified, and beloved, I can focus my compassion on others, act in kindness, think humbly, speak meekly, and wait patiently. Slow, contemplative, prayerful reading and recitations of this short divine sentence are helping me to do so.

From the desk:

“The church is not calling you to be the pastor; they are calling you to become the pastor.” 

-Gardner Taylor, quoted by Dr. LaRue in PR 2100

I don’t know whether this statement is meant to be humbling or soothing, but for me it’s both. Congregations don’t (or shouldn’t) call seminary grads expecting them to be “finished products.” We’re still figuring it out and we always will be, but that doesn’t in any way cancel out the responsibility of what we are to be constantly becoming: followers, students, parables of that Great Shepherd of the Sheep.

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

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