By now most of you have heard or read about my transition from Trinity Commons to St. Dunstan’s at the end of this month. I’ve been grateful for nearly six years as the chaplain at Trinity Commons and to be a part of life on campus and at the student center. It was, as some of you well know, a really hard decision to make; and that’s what I’d like to focus on today.
As we’ve been focusing on the Old Testament lessons this Pentecost, one of the things I find myself noticing in almost every story is the moment of decision Abraham, an unnamed servant, Rebekah, and Jacob faces. And moments of decision lead to the obvious question: how do we know we’re making the right decision?
I certainly asked myself that question numerous times as I discerned about a call to St. Dunstan’s. Some of you even know that discernment has been a part of my self-awareness for a long time, and so I think the answer lies there: self-awareness. In order to make good choices, good decisions, you have to be honest with yourself about your gifts and your challenges. You can’t be afraid to name where you are in life and have some idea of where you want to go. You need to listen to trusted friends and be willing to wrestle with the options, trying to take seriously what’s asked of you and what you have to give.
A good friend of mine gave me the helpful advice that when he was deciding on whether to make a change, he wrote a list of reasons to go and a list of reasons to stay; and at the end of it, all he had was two long lists. What we heard this week from Esau selling his birthright to the opportunistic Jacob was someone who found himself in a moment of decision and, whatever his motives may have been, he acted on the opportunity. Each of Jacob’s words, “Sell now your birthright to me”, is carefully weighed and positioned, with the ‘me’ held back to the end of the sentence. Esau is presented as impetuous and frantic; Jacob as calculating and measured. While we may not ignore the moral ambiguity of this unusual story, we can recognize that someone realizes what’s at stake, and someone doesn’t.
There are days ahead for all of us that will requires decisions and choices to be made, and in many (most) of those moments, we’ll focus on worrying about making the right decision. I think it’s not so much the need to get it right as it is the need to be thoughtful, attentive, and reflective as we do our best to listen to God, to our inner voice, and the friends who may see and recognize what we can’t. Whatever uncertainty lingers this week and the weeks to come for you, know that God loves you as well as the people you’re with, and when you remember that you won’t get it wrong.
Gathering Online: https://bit.ly/TCZoom
Tuesday Checkin on Zoom @ 6 pm
Join Thomas and Kelley on Zoom. This is a time to check-in or just say hello.
Sunday Liturgy of the Word on Zoom @ 6 pm
Join us on Zoom for a service of prayers and scripture.