“Jacob sent his wives, their maids, his eleven children and everything he had across the stream. Jacob was left alone.” Genesis 32:22-24.
Back in November I began a practice as a response to a criticism. Some folks felt I was not spending enough time in the office at church. There were some who felt I was not accessible. When I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that the criticism was at least partly fair. I decided I would post my whereabouts and some of the pastoral tasks I needed to attend to on the Church Facebook Page each morning. It is important for people to know where their pastor is.
Oftentimes I put together this “itinerary” just before bed the night before and schedule the post to show up at 6:30 AM the following morning. This practice has helped me take stock of where I am and what I am doing. I can’t post every anticipated act or location, and what does get posted is subject to change as the day progresses and things happen that I did not anticipate.
It is very easy for our lives to get crowded with the agendas of our own making. We can go from day to day thinking we are one place when, in fact, we aren’t there at all. Other people share their perspective, give us feedback, help us to get oriented.
Jacob – the grandson of “Father Abraham” – was part of a tribe. With two wives, their maids, his twelve (eventually to be thirteen) children and all his flocks and herds he was a traveling “crowd”. He was also a striver – struggling at times to get along with other people. In Genesis 32 we read that Jacob sent everyone away from him. He was left alone. He wrestled – with an angel, with God, and certainly with himself. In order to know where we are truly at we need the community to give us our bearings; but we also need to spend time alone.
Can you take a moment alone today and give some thought to just where you are at in the crowd?
A blessed Tuesday.