The past week or two has been an odd time for me. At least two of those "once in a lifetime" events have occurred.
Firstly there was my Birthday, I'm getting older. I know they come every year, but it was a biggie, you know, an age that ends in a '0' - the reader may speculate as to the preceding digit(s). I don't really get that bothered about these things, but everyone seems to think that birthdays are exciting, especially ones that are multiples of 10, the arbitrary base of our numbering system. I'll only be this age once.
Secondly, and perhaps most peculiarly, I'm getting elder, or more accurately I'm in the process of becoming an elder. The fellowship to which I belong has recently decided that three new elders should be appointed, and so the process began. I was notified last week that I had been selected along with another person to be one of two new elders. This did not come as a complete shock as I had been pre-warned of the likelihood of this happening, but it was still a surprise, and a concern.
Many people seem to think that eldership is something that you earn, but that is just a dangerous misconception. Others recognise that it isn't earned, but still see it as a "promotion" in the church. Most people I talked to after the meeting of our Church on Sunday congratulated me, which I was a little troubled by, because I didn't do anything worthy of congratulations, although I suspect their motivation was innocent, and they were just trying to communicate their support as I take on this role.
I see the position as elder not as a promotion, or elevated status, but as a responsibility. A huge
responsibility. I feel truly unworthy of this responsibility. It is also a great opportunity, or probably will present me with many opportunities to influence the direction of the church, and also individuals, and I think that is one of the biggest responsibilities.
I have thought extensively, prayed and talked to friends about this and I believe this is where the Lord wants me to be, although it is well outside my comfort zone, so I have offered my acceptance. This is what faith is for.
There are a few formalities to get through yet, so it is possible that this rollercoaster ride will
crash, but that is in the hands of God.