Fall is here. The routines of the school year are visiting households with children. It seems like an abrupt transition for me this year. With the events of the last few weeks, I have scarcely had time to prepare for the responsibilities of the new season. But prepare, I must. Responsibilities do not abide patiently or with understanding. Nor do some people, frankly. Rather, they demand attention. Leaders understand this. Even during my initial period of shock and mourning I have had to deal with the realities set before me. Curriculum. Teacher recruitment. Staff allocation. Room assignments. The list goes on. And while I have taken a temporary step back, and others have stepped up so very graciously to assist, it sometimes feels as though the weight of responsibility remains squarely on my shoulders. This is not a complaint; it is simply an acknowledgement of reality. But then I remember there is a more profound reality in my situation.
I have church colleagues and leadership who help me bear the burden. Their participation distributes the weight of responsibility. They do not let me fall flat on my face. They step up, offering tangible support, ideas, participation, resources, and encouragement. They love me despite my failings, encourage me despite my tendency to take on tasks which rightly should either be delegated or adjusted. In short, they watch my back, even protecting me from myself.
I am learning from them and growing as a result. I am learning that I can only do so much, and that I must work with the resources I have, rather than attempt to perform as though I had the resources which once were available in the early years.
I am discovering that although I cannot physically do some of the things I used to do in children’s ministry, I can mentor others who will step up and take on greater roles.
I am learning that my time is limited. One way or the other, I will not be here forever. Thus, the need to recruit and train others. I long have said I am trying to work my way out of a job. That commitment remains true to this day, but in a much more palpable way. A new generation is poised to rise up. I must embrace and encourage them, setting an example in my life, character, and actions. I pray that those whom God is calling will set aside the entanglements of the world, and choose to follow the Lord in reaching the generations to come.