“You show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
As I am writing this, I have yet to start my adventure out to Washington. So, sitting in a small coffee shop in Minnesota, I have started to think a lot about adventures – the great ones that enthrall us, the scary ones that keep us on the edges of our seats, the exhilarating ones that bring us to new places and new heights.
In the adventure of my life, there have not been any princesses to save or horcruxes to find or rings to return to Mordor. My adventures may not ever be written in black and white type or printed and graced with a “New York Times Bestseller” sticker.
However, my adventures have brought me to some pretty great places, and I cannot help but think that the Holy Spirit, as tricksy as she may be, was behind it all. And this next great adventure, moving to Washington, is no different. It is new and scary and oh, so exciting, and I know that the Holy Spirit has led me to this place for a reason.
Now, I have never been a pastor. Sure, I have read my Bible and prayed. I have been in Bible studies and sung hymns and led worship. I have preached and taught. I have given pastoral care. But, I have never been a pastor before. And sometimes, I still find it strange that I am truly called to this work.
With that being said, I honestly am not sure what to expect in internship. I really have no idea what I am getting myself into. I have certain expectations for the year I will have with all of you. I hope to get to know you all and become part of your community. I hope to practice and work and get better at the skills I need to be a good pastor – things like preaching and pastoral care and, yes, writing newsletter articles. I hope also to play and explore and find new things to love. I hope to learn more about who I am and who I want to be.
And so, I turn to the Psalms. As with all areas and emotions of life, I was able to find a psalm to relate to in this time of expected adventure. And I have read Psalm 16 quite a lot these days. It is a psalm that reminds us that it is God who leads us. It is God who makes our paths. And we don’t need to be afraid of the path that we are on, for God is with us always.
There have been times when leaving my friends and family has seemed like entering a dark wilderness, and I have been afraid. But then I remember the reassurance that while this is a new and somewhat scary adventure, it is an adventure guided by God, and that God does not bring us to “the Pit,” but leads us to life – and abundant life at that! God leads to fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore.
I guess what I think I am getting myself into in internship is an adventure of growth and excitement. I have gotten
myself into doing the work that God has lead me to do and I have been lucky enough to find myself living in the Pacific Northwest – which has been a dream of mine for quite some time.
So, with the reassurance of God at my side – before, behind, and beside me, I jump into this next great adventure with all of you. I am so excited to get out there and get going.
May God bless us all on our own adventures and bring us peace and grace.
~ Carrie Smisek