I was a pastor for about 11 years before joining the USAF as a Chaplain. That is a little over a decade. Not a short time to be somewhere.
My first year as a pastor, I hired a a youth minister that lasted about 6 months. He got a better job, making more money at a bigger church. I will always believe that the new church was where he was supposed to be.
What made me sad was the feeling of loss the kids were going to experience.
I knew the transitory nature of ministry. The average youth minister lasted 18 months, the average pastor lasted 2.5 years. The average minister got out of ministry after 5 years. It was the nature of the beast.
I was told that we tend to make great salesmen.
There was a young girl in our church, a 4th or 5th grader at the time we lost the youth minister. I had gathered the group around me the next Wednesday night, and she asked me a pretty tough, but understandable questions. “Are you going to leave?”
My answer has become blurry through the years. I think I started with, “In ministry, we go where we are called. I can not promise that I will, or will not be any place for a set period of time.” You get the idea.
But, I did finish with this… I looked straight at her and said, “You know, I’ll probably be here longer than you.”
That sounds horrible. I remember thinking that I would see her graduate, and then she would be off to college or something. Well, it didn’t work out that way. She ended up dropping out of the church. I remember it was shortly after her daddy died. It was a hard time.
Well, I’m connected to her on FaceBook, and saw a post. She was holding her brand new baby girl, and promising to never leave her. To never leave her, just like her mother had left her.
I don’t know why I’m writing this. It could be a story about breaking the chains. How someone who had suffered much separation is doing her best to stop it with her family.
I like to think that is it.
Maybe it is a story of someone just trying to make it. She never did college. She ended up moving in with a guy and getting pregnant. Not exactly planned, yet not unwanted either. She is living in the same basic area that she grew up in. That could end up being a sad story, or perhaps one of “blooming where you’re planted.”
Whatever it is, it just is. It is life.
Now, I find myself in a very transitory job. I’ll move bases every 4 years. I’ll deploy every now and then, for 6 months at a time. People will be coming and going all the time. A tough situation when one wants deep relationships with others.
Life is transitory. We must make it count.
WoW can be lonely, and it can be very social. That depends upon us. If you don’t like people in your guild, then join another one. Life is too short to spend it with people you don’t like. People count. You count. Do something that counts.
Make a choice, break a chain.
Love hard, love deeply. There are people around you, or at least there could be. You don’t know when you’ll have another chance.
See what happens.
“Hope is our weapon against the darkness.”