Tuesday, March 1, 2016
The Year of the Leap
The past several months have been a something like a climb up the ladder to a high dive platform. Over the summer I went public with my impending retirement and since that time have been occupied with all kinds of regular-type work, helping to guide the church I have served for the last six and a half years through this big transition. It felt sort of good to retreat into the routines of work, even if those routines were now being carried out in the shadow of a looming deadline. But yesterday, Feb. 29th, 2016, I reached the top of the ladder and stood with my toes hanging over the edge of the platform. Yesterday was Leap Day.
It was my last day as a pastor at Yakima Covenant Church and, more than that, my last day working in church ministry. I am walking away from all of that, for reasons you can read about in posts like "Everything is Changing" and "What's Love Got to Do With It?" Our farewell was marked by an incredible outpouring of love and support, for which we will forever be grateful.
Leap Day was a wildly appropriate day to mark such a radical change in our life. I admit that as I packed up the last things from my office and walked out for the last time, I felt a moment of panic - this is really a big leap, a risk, it will bring new challenges, some of which we can anticipate and some that I am sure are the sneaky type, waiting around corners we haven't reached yet. While I've been observing a sort of radio silence since last summer, wanting to give the community that I served plenty of room for the big changes they have been and will be experiencing, that will be changing. Over the next weeks and months I will be positively prolific as I try my hand at this new thing, whatever this new thing looks like. And I'll reflect a little not just on the "what" that occupies the coming days, but also on the "why."
Here's how I figure it: everybody has got some big leap they are contemplating. If the faltering, stumbling, bumbling steps of an aspiring beekeeper-shepherd-farmer-philosopher can be of any help at all as you consider taking whatever plunge you are staring at, then I call that a win-win. I'll chronicle adventures and reflections during this whole Leap Year. What kind of story will it end up being? Time will tell - it's the year of the leap and we'll take it as it comes!