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More than a Party

“God’s got more important things to worry about than my party.”

My ordination is Sunday. In the process of planning I have found myself reeling in anticipation of being the center of attention. At my graduation in June I was one of a dozen graduates and it still felt like too much of a spotlight for this introvert. As a perfectionist at heart I often crave recognition, but recognition and attention are not the same thing. I’m sure with some psychological analysis I could get to the bottom of the difference for me but that’s not on the schedule for today.

As I prepare to celebrate this occasion that is both a beginning and an ending, my heart is heavy. Stories of death, violence, terror, and suffering have surrounded me the last few days, the last few weeks. The loss of Michael Brown and Robin Williams. The children and youth stuck in limbo at our border. The loss of untold lives in Israel. The violence and persecution in Iraq, in Vietnam. The outbreak of Ebola. Unrest in Ukraine.

It is a litany of pain in need of prayer.

In the midst of this I am planning a party. A moment of joy for someone several steps removed from all this suffering.

We are capable of many emotions at once, but still I struggle to live in this tension. Yes, there are more pressing things in the world than my party, but God will still be there. The Spirit will be invoked and the patient and steady hand of God that has brought me to this day will be placed upon my shoulder.

And I will rise from that moment knowing that it isn’t about me. It is about God and the work God has and will equip me to do.

My fervent prayer is that moving forward from my uncomfortable moment in the spotlight I will find the strength and faith to serve God, bringing love, joy, hope, and peace to a world desperately in need of such things.

And maybe it starts by focusing on the joy of those who gather around me on Sunday instead of the heat of the spotlight. A time of celebration to remind us God is present, God is working, and most importantly,we are called to join God in seeking a better world.

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