A Pastoral Visit

So in my attempts to say goodbye to as many people as possible, my parents have also started setting up little meets with people who wish to say goodbye to me. Like going out to dinner with a couple they know, just the 5 of us, while the wives talk about this, and the husbands talk about that, and then I’m in the middle playing with the food on my plate, singing songs in my head or making to-do lists for when I get back home.

Today, there was one such visit. I’m pretty sure it is the last before I depart. It was with their church pastor. Now I say their pastor simply because I have stopped attending the church. When I moved here I went to the church, and the pastor retired. This is a new pastor. He is a very nice man, who is part time pastor, full time father and support to the community.

In February of this year, I was burnt out – I was supply teaching almost every day, plus 4 days a week doing evening shifts at my part time job. Sundays were my only days off from both work sites. Then I got sick. Two Sundays in a row I stayed home because of illness and I realized that the remainder of the week I felt better overall. After that, I kept my Sunday’s at home and had a relaxation day, with no work, no going out, just relaxing and recuperating from the rest of the week. Then Spring came and the pastor sent me an email asking how I was, and wondering if I had moved or anything. I said that due to work Sunday’s were my down time, but in the summer I would be back in the pew. And I had EVERY intention of doing so. But old habits die hard I guess, and aside from Easter weekend, I hadn’t been back.

Pop back to today. So now I’m here, haven’t seen the pastor in 7 months, my parents had taken the dogs and left for the afternoon, so it was just us. I was very anxious about the meeting, and as the time grew closer for him to arrive, I grew more and more anxious. I was questioning my sanity in accepting his offer to come. Once he did, it was a tad bit awkward, he didn’t really know a lot about what I was going to be doing in Korea, which was nice since I was able to fill the silence with talking about my job and how much I really do love it over there. It was a nice little chat. He then read a passage from the Bible for me, prayed over my journey and my experience and then told me a little bit about the year he spent teaching on a Native reserve in Northern Ontario his first year of marriage. All in all, it was only about 40% awkward, the most part being in our parting at the end of the visit – how do you leave things? A hug seemed a bit too friendly for our level of acquaintance, so a VERY awkward and prolonged hand shake was what ended up happening – I’m talking a solid minute here people.

But what I walked away with was the passage that he read for me. It was one I have heard so many times before, and I actually think that it is the same one I had assigned to me when I chose to be baptized as a pre-teen.

Here are the first 6 verses, the ones that deal with a journey, but the whole thing is worth a read and the reflection as well.

1 O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
2You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD .
5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand! 
It’s the NLT (New Living Translation), which the the version of the Bible I use whenever possible, just personal reading preferences. If you want to check out the whole verse, you can do so here, and also adjust for other versions (NIV, KJV, etc).

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