From the Pastor
A Message From Pastor Miranda Denler
Amid the craziness that has become my life over the last two weeks, the Holy Spirit keeps reminding me of something at the most inopportune times. For those of you who haven’t seen me because of social distancing for quite a while now, you missed seeing the crazed look in my eye as I debate the best way to reach out to each one of you. Being your pastor has been such a joy that in a moment of crisis all I could think about was what I should be doing for the church. While playing a board game with my husband, my brain was categorizing emails and researching media platforms. I woke up in the middle of the night with ideas and couldn’t even drink a cup of coffee without feeling like there was something I should be doing. When your whole life suddenly becomes about creating spaces for people to connect, the job becomes endless. And yet, the Spirit kept nudging me throughout all of this, saying:
Do not fear, for I am with you.
But I kept working. I was more worried about what you, my beloved congregation, would think of me than what God was calling me to. I was worried that I wasn’t doing enough, that I wouldn’t be a good enough pastor in this time. And to be honest, even now, as I write these words and have faced the truth with the help of God, I still am. In a moment of realization, I wrote these words in my journal:
I remember the Race [my time in the mission field] as a time in my life that brought instability in my daily life. Yet, it was in that instability that I found a peace I had never found before. I need to remember that this time holds the same opportunity. It’s time to stop worrying about what I’m not doing and focus on what God is calling me to. Where I put my efforts should be a reflection of God not a reflection of what I think will work best. I have to stop living in panic and start living my days as if this is my forever.
Even as you’re reading this, the whole world may have changed again. I write this with faith that by the time it reaches your inbox or mailbox God will speak to you through it. So, here’s what God has been speaking to me: Use this time to remake your life. Find better ways to connect to God. Find a place to sit in the presence of God and expect nothing in return. Stop doing, and start being.
I’ve had the book Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist sitting on my virtual bookshelf for a long time. I am going to set aside time in my life to read it. I’m going to set aside the guilt and spend time focusing on my own spiritual life. As we quickly approach the Easter season, and have very little knowledge of what our future will look like, I hope you will join me in finding news ways to connect to God. We can see this time as being stuck and alone, or we can see this time as an opportunity to keep growing in our spiritual life. There’s no better time than now!
In Christ’s Love,