“For all that has been, thanks; for all that is to come, yes!”—Dag Hammarskjöld
I’m the type of person who loves routine. I am most comfortable when things flow along in an expected pattern and on a regular time table. I am so thankful for the community in which I serve and for the steady presence they have been in my life for the last two decades of my life. Things for the most part have been sailing along well in our church, and I was anticipating another year of wondrous routine in 2020 . . . and then we noticed the crack in one of the sanctuary walls. I will spare you the details of all that transpired between that day and now, but 2020 is looking like it will be anything but routine.
We are having to consider a major construction project in our sanctuary. My life for the past couple of months has been filled with structural engineers, building committee meetings, and contractors—and we haven’t even started the work yet. I have told my husband many times that I would be content to spend the entirety of my ministry without working on a building project. It’s not something that excites me, and I sure don’t have much experience with construction and renovation. When I look at a big project life this, all I can see is the multitude of ways that it will impact every part of our church’s life.
One night, as I was bemoaning the possible disruptions to my life and the life of the church, my husband offered up these profound words. He said, “Maybe this is an opportunity to do something new, something different.” He’s my opposite in so many ways. He’s a dreamer, someone who appreciates possibilities way more than I do, and he spoke a word I needed to hear. Sometimes in preserving my love of routine, I overlook what might be possible when life nudges me in a new direction. It’s easy for me to say thanks for all that has been, but sometimes challenging to saying “yes” to all that is to come.
My husband helped me to see that perhaps this is a time for our church to welcome disruption. Perhaps it is time for us to boldly trust God in the midst of a seemingly huge challenge. Perhaps it is time for us to imagine what new opportunities for ministry might be opening up to us. For me, a lover of routine, it might be time to say “yes” and to welcome a season of change and growth. My prayer is that 2020 be a time for me to walk more closely with God into a perhaps messy but exciting future. Thanks be to God!
Wendy Peacock is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, Americus, Georgia.