Upon my ordination to the gospel ministry, I was excited, apprehensive. How at 4 feet 11 inches tall would I baptize folks, even children, who are much taller than me? At which church would I work? (I had never even considered that I would have seasons in which I would not have a full-time ministry position). I walked out of the church on the day of my ordination with questions but with high expectations and lots of dreams.
I thought I had my life and ministry all figured out. I was wrong! All the questions that I had then still exist today, and I am beginning to realize that life with God is more about the journey than answers. I am ever aware of the harshness of not meeting the expectations I have for myself. At times, my God-given dreams and calling have gotten lost in the muck of ministry and life. Right now, I work three part-time jobs, one of which is a children’s ministry director. Frequently, I lose sight of the holy in the midst of my crazy schedule.
Recently, in the midst of caring for a toddler in her home, I became aware of how God gets our attention in the ordinary moments of life. As I broke up crackers for her snack, I thought of the weekly ritual and sacred moments of communion. The cracker crumbs hit the high chair table, and simultaneously, the Holy Spirit got my attention. My own brokenness overwhelmed me as I was reminded of Christ’s brokenness. While the toddler shoved crackers into her mouth, I sat beside her, and holy, healing tears flowed down my cheeks. As she smiled and laughed, my heart was touched. I may not be where I think I should be in this season of my life, and still, am I where God wants me to be? I think so!
I consider breaking bread for the body of Christ to be a renewing experience. Communion unifies us under one common loaf and one common cup. At our church, everyone lines up to take communion by intinction, and I am deeply affected each time I see all the faces of friends as together we take part in this remembrance of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. We all have separate callings and passions, and yet still we are one in Christ.
During this season of my life, I am serving more crackers than communion bread, climbing more playground stairs than chancel ones, and reading more picture books than biblical commentaries. I get disheartened sometimes. And yet, with God’s help and the proper perspective, all of my work can be transformed into moments with the Divine.
Alicia Turner Beard is an ordained Baptist minister, who presently juggles three part-time jobs. She and her husband live in Raleigh, North Carolina, where they enjoy spending time with friends and hanging out with their English bulldog, Ryder. Alicia can most often be found hanging out with children, browsing at the library, or dancing at a Zumba class.