Life can take us on some pretty funny (not haha, so maybe I should say strange instead) paths.
Social situations and circumstances are so different for me now than they used to be in my old life.
Back then, I was the PreacherMan–always the social butterfly–always trolling for new relationships, new opportunities to be of service to those in need, whatever that need may have been.
I am a preacher’s son. If I wasn’t hardwired to be that way, then at least I was like the Borg from Star Trek–God, church, and family melded the parts of me into PreacherMan, able to leap tall buildings theologically, able to preach and teach and lead at the drop of a hat. And move tables. No PreacherMan can really be the PreacherMan without the super duper amazing ability to move tables for whatever occasion to whatever location needed
That guy? PreacherMan? I am not sure where he is anymore. Some days I think he is just in hibernation, awaiting the end of a long winter’s nap to emerge fresh and ready to take on all challenges. And then reality sinks in… That particular guy is gone forever.
Sometimes I mourn the loss of me. At least the me I once was. Or maybe the kind of things I once did. Some of them at least.
And then on other days, I feel a new excitement. I think the old PreacherMan is like an ugly caterpillar–the really slimy gross kind–and I am encased in a truly weird cocoon. Sooner or later that cocoon is going to shape and form me into a totally different kind of servant.
I may never be what I was once was; but I am going to be something totally different. Better. More effective. More helpful.
At least that is what I hope. What I dream. What I want with all of my heart.
I am trying to prepare myself for that. Writing. Wrestling. Rethinking. Re-imagining. And learning to trust God again all the while surrounded by people who love me unconditionally.
That’s not a bad place to be. Different from what I could have ever dreamed, but a good place nonetheless.
So what’s different about social situations and circumstances?
Lots of things.
Since I am not the preacher anymore, some people are a little more natural. They don’t posture a spirituality that doesn’t really exist. If they are not particularly fond of me they don’t usually pretend to be my friend. And believe it or not some folks are just nicer… the meanest things I have ever heard have, with one exception, come from people who called me their preacher.
I don’t pretend as much either. I don’t pretend to like somebody just because they have power over me. I don’t pretend that hateful or hurtful things are not.
Lastly, maybe it’s my insecurity, but I often feel like I am a visible reminder of the evil that can happen to anybody.
At this point I may never ever again be the old super duper PreacherMan. And that’s ok. In some ways it is a good thing.
In some ways it is exciting waiting to see what comes next…
Life is a journey. I am ready for the next stage. I am living it now…
I’ve taken so long, I know
Never had so far to go
it’s not where you can be, it’s what you can see
That takes you there
it’s here inside, right here inside
My Destination by Tom Scholz (Boston, Third Stage)
Les Ferguson, Jr.