Thursday, July 24, 2008

Lombard Street

Life is often like Lombard Street is San Francisco. Lombard is the crookedest street in the world. It is steep, full of hairpin curves, and can even trap some vehicles as they attempt to descend it's crooked path.

Lombard has some of the finest Victorian homes in the city. Some time ago, the residents of Lombard Street completely changed the configuration of the road in front of their homes. They constructed it at their own expense to lessen the increasing number of vehicles that passed their homes bumper to bumper. The crooked road became so unique that it increased the amount of traffic and had just the opposite effect than what its designers had intended.

Life is like Lombard Street. Life is full of steep inclines, surprising curves, and runaway descents. We will run into a variety of obstacles along our journey in life and we have to navigate it, but without the Lord as our navigator, pilot, and everything else that is important, we can end up at the wrong destination.

Four years ago I began working in retail. For four years I've sold appliances at Best Buy and then The Home Depot. It has been a wonderful experience in so many ways. I've had the opportunity to observe people out in the world, where they are comfortable. It is a different view than from the pulpit, the walls of a church office, or even the cubicle of a hospital intensive care unit. I have had the opportunity to really listen to ordinary, everyday people. The experience has changed me, opened my eyes, and has made me a better minister.

About a year ago, First Baptist Church hired me to head up education, or as I would prefer to call it, discipleship. It has been a challenging year for me and yet, I have grown through it as well. We are a long way from making discipleship real in people's everyday world, but it will come.

Earlier this month I was asked to teach Bible in the Christian School that is part of the ministry of FBC. I will be teaching 4th, 5th, 6th, and Junior/Senior High. I am looking forward to this challenge, doing what I think I do best.

Today, I gave notice at The Home Depot. My last day there will be August 7 and New Teacher Orientation begins on August 18. I have a lot of work to do to get ready for the start of school on August 25. I've got to plan curriculum for each of these grades and write lesson plans. I'll have a "learning curve" there, but I've been through that a lot of times in my life. I've even got to send off for transcripts tomorrow. And I thought those days were over!

Life has been like Lombard Street for me the past four years (I guess we could say that all of life has its curves and we sometimes get stuck), but it feels like I've been in the middle of Lombard for these four years. That is not something that is just can't see the bottom, or a clear view of where you're going. God knew and I followed. What an education! God had me on course, within the parameters of His Will, even when I didn't understand. I am in awe of Him.

Maybe it is dark and you are on Lombard Street right now. Stop and look around. Get your bearings. Depend on your supernatural compass. When daybreak comes, you will know where you are! Life is a journey. It has a beginning, a huge middle, and a wonderful ending.

No comments: