November 04, 2004

Holding no keys

This morning held one of the strangest mixes of emotion I've felt in a long time. As I was making last-minute preparations to leave our home and ministry of five years to return to the U.S., I took the keyring out of my pocket and slowly, one by one, removed all the keys that I no longer need. Church back door key (not sure why I carried that one, the lock only works from the inside) key (church owns the parsonage)...garage key (we're leaving our car for the interim pastor to use)...

And then suddenly I realized that, when I was all done, there would be no keys left on my keyring. I know I can't adequately describe for you the feeling that came over me as I came to that realization, but maybe you'll be able to relate to it better if I tell you that it was like being released from prison after a long sentence. (Not that I imagine many regular NeoTheo(b)log readers are ex-cons.) It was a recognition of freedom, to be sure. I felt immediately exhilarated, but in a split second a wave of fear overwhelmed me. So many of the things that have grounded me for the last five years, that have defined me, are no longer mine. I could feel the comfortable context of my life being washed away like sand under my feet...

Of course, my life isn't really founded on our church or my house or my car, but it sure can feel like it is sometimes. Maybe it takes these kinds of life-changing events, times when your life-paradigm shifts so suddenly that you get motion sick or the bottom drops out so fast you experience emotional and spiritual vertigo, to remind you that in reality you've built your house on a rock and that "upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it" and that Jesus has entrusted us with "the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven."

NeoTheo(b)log will be taking a few days off while we relocate. Thank you so much for being a part of this blog and for your prayers for us as we begin this incredible new adventure. See you on the other side!


At 1:16 AM, Blogger Tony said...

Blessings, Daniel, on you and yours, and may the relocating angels go ahead of you and around you and behind you, and may your new set of keys (when you get them) open doors into a new freedom of faith and ministry.

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I understand completely what you say, Dan, having left several military "families" and posts over the last half of my life. I can tell you that those of us on the western side of the Atlantic, including your "Baptist Grandmother" anxiously await the arrival of you and your family.

At 10:09 AM, Blogger DesertPastor said...

Yes, Blessings upon you, within you, toward you, and through you, Daniel!

I'm excited for you and your family and for this next chapter in your lives.

He whom the Son sets free is free indeed!


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