Eugene Peterson has written a beautiful memoir entitled, The Pastor. He speaks in the introduction of the formative experience of becoming a pastor, saying this: “every step along the way – becoming the pastor I didn’t know I was becoming and the person I now am, an essential component that was silently and slowly being integrated into a coherent life and vocation – an arrival.” (p.4)
We are all arriving. You are arriving. I am arriving. This is not unique to the role of pastor, it just happens that Eugene’s place in the story was pastoral. This step by step becoming is true for all of us!
This understanding stretches beyond our scope of understanding, because our movement is a bit like being an instrument in a symphony – there are lots of moving parts. I have a friend who is undertaking a big job that we ultimately believe will help change the way we deal with addiction in our local community.
He said to me today, “I’m just a one man band.”
I replied, “I’d like to be a flute in your symphony.” I want to be a small part of this special grand adventure he is passionate about fulfilling.
He can try the one man approach and with his grit and determination, he will go far. But can one man take on such a large task alone? Should he have to? If we take this stepping and arriving seriously, it seems obvious to me that our arriving is done in concert with others. There really is no such thing as a one man band; only people who have not yet found their place in the symphony.
Watch today for the place you already have in your community, at home, at work. You have a place. Are you able to embrace it?