Sunday, March 11, 2007

Hold the Moment

The problem about decisions is that they are never easy. Sometimes they aren’t even up to you. Or maybe the problem is with me. No matter how high that pile of ‘cons’ stacks, almost to the point of being immeasurable... there is at least one piece in the ‘pros.’ The glass is always half full when you look at it that way, because any loss is an unacceptable loss. But at what point do you call it a day, cut your losses and head for home.

These are the things that I ponder right now. There are many moments that make me cringe and wish I never had to experience them. But in the sea of experiences, there are a few fish that float on bye that leave me in awe. Literally. The ones that seem to make it all worthwhile, and make you want to hang around for just a little bit longer to see if any more are coming your way.

This morning I preached in the Lautoka church. Once again, walking through the doors of the church was like a breath of fresh air. Where the Spirit of the Lord is... freedom reigns. If only I was able to spend my time at a church and focus my efforts on one particular place to make a tangible, real difference in the lives of the people.

I preached on Joy. The Joy of the Lord that permeates every single situation, no matter how hard, how dismal or how hopeless it may seem. Why? Because our hope does not depend on us... it depends on God. He never changes. He was the same yesterday as He is today, and He’ll be the same tomorrow. Hence, our Joy should be equally as sure and steady. We can smile in the midst of excruciating pain, because Jesus lives... and we have that rock to hold onto.

Afterwards, the elders and their wives made lunch for me, and we enjoyed each others presence. It makes me wonder how anyone could not like the friendly, open nature of these people. Sure, they have their quirks, but don’t we all? Each culture has its good and bad. Somehow, even though I’ve only been at the church twice now, they make me feel like I’m at home. We laughed, we talked, and we enjoyed each others presence. It’s also the first time while I’ve been here in Fiji I’ve been referred to as Pastor.

That’s a huge deal. A lot of respect is given to someone with that title, and you better not be screwing it up, because it means they are expecting great things out of you too. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. They call you pastor, you better act like one.

If only I could take a camera and freeze that moment, remember what it felt like, remember what a difference it made. Those are the moments you want to hold onto for the rest of your life, because they matter.

But are these few scattered moments enough? Is that really why I came here? No... sadly it is not. It is a glimpse of why, in as much a glass of water represents the ocean. I came to learn what it meant to pastor here in Fiji, to experience the culture and learn about it, and to see if I would fit in here. Sadly, I am not being allowed to pastor, the experiences I have with the culture are limited, and I know I definitely don’t fit in here. But that last one is not with the Fijians.

If only I could hold that moment.

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