Wednesday. The middle day. The space of limbo in the week, journeying from one weekend to the next, from the start to the finish, the beginning to the end. Wednesday quite often elicits a sense of being the hardest day to get through, the last push to the apex, because after today, it’s all downhill from here, baby! (and for what it’s worth, I woke up today thinking that it was already Thursday…).
And while we most often see this metaphor in the academic and business worlds (based on a M-F schedule), this metaphor can just as easily be ascribed to our own lives and journeys: we reach a point where we’re tired and not sure we can muster up enough energy to make another push in an uphill struggle. I know some who would read this who can even apply this to their current lives in the church (or their YAV year), struggling to follow the call they have received to serve in ministry (the uphill struggle part coming from denominations which throw up near-continuous roadblocks to that path). Sometimes, it feels as if the only thing left to do is to give up, throw in the towel, and choose another path, forsaking all-together the path to which we’ve been commonly called. It’s even happened to me.
But as I pondered this metaphor, and more so, the reality behind it this morning, realizing that it was in fact Wednesday and not Thursday, a new voice entered the conversation. It could easily have been Mickey’s voice from Rocky. It challenged me, and forced me to re-think everything I had been thinking.
“So what if the church is throwing up roadblocks to your call to ministry? So what if the denomination is giving you the run around, and not the validation you know your call deserves? So what if the human institution doesn’t understand what is so clear in your heart? You’re not here to serve the human institution! You’re not here be a ‘yes-person’ to the denomination! You’re not called by the church! YOU are called by GOD. YOU are called by GOD in love, and you are called to share that love with humanity!”
Ultimately, what does it matter if it is within a framework of the church? Are you loving humanity, the way you have been loved by God? If yes, then that’s all the answer you need. If no…well, if no, then perhaps it’s time to reflect on what you are doing and how you are doing it.
Life will continuously have hills and mountains to be traveled over, and as someone who loves to hike in the mountains, I can attest that it’s usually the final push to the summit that ends up being the most difficult. On occasion, I even have to make the decision to turn around, to honestly assess myself and realize that reaching the summit could ultimately be detrimental. That’s a touch decision; I’ve already traveled so far, and now I need to turn around? But the true question I have to ask myself is: Is this the path that, for my ultimate goals, would best serve me?
Our ultimate goal, our calling, is to share the love of God we have received with the rest of creation, which is oftentimes in a state of deep hurt. Getting over the hump is a great accomplishment, but it does not always lead us in this direction.
May you, on this Wednesday (and every other day for that matter) be able to look at your life and what you have done/are doing, and see that the path you are on is one that leads you further into this ultimate calling. And whatever your day looks like, may you make it through with a deep, abiding awareness of God’s love for you. If you don’t, call me: I’ll tell you (even with my best Meredith Burgess impersonation) that you are a beloved child of God, and are called to live as such. Nothing on this planet can change that reality.