There is a lot of preparation that goes into any big change in life. At my ordination in October, Barbara Marks presented me for ordination during the service. In presenting me, part of what she said was “…who has been prepared…” Prepared in the usual ways for ministry in the ELCA, that is what it meant in the service. I have been prepared, which meant the end of my seminary training. For the things just beginning, preparation has been going strong.
A big part of that preparation has been Andrea and me packing up for our move. It is amazing what two people can accumulate in just a couple of years. While we haven’t yet gotten to the point of feeling like getting rid of half of our stuff, we have a fair bit of packing left. We might get that feeling before the end.
One of my teachers has given me the same advice twice, once at our wedding and once at the ordination service. It is three words: joy, simplicity, and mercy. As he says, they are the spirit of the beatitudes. Needless to say, getting our things together can certainly give us the impression that we haven’t lived up to the ideal of simplicity. This comes through especially in those moments when we are packing up and come across something and wonder “Why do we have this?” or “What do we need this for?,”. There is always hope of simplifying, though, even if we do end up getting more stuff (which is likely).
As for now, the preparation continues and soon we will pull into Bird Island and be able to call it home. We are truly excited to be on our way, and looking forward to meeting the good people of Our Savior’s and Bird Island. We’ll be there soon!