Monday, July 4, 2011

Walking and chewing gum

Each person chooses a path to follow through life. We know that some choose fame, others fortune. I chose a world that did not pay much in money, but gave me satisfaction. I often thought that if I made a difference in one person’s life, that I had been successful. While in the nonprofit arena, that success was thought to be found in the populations I served: youth, homeless families, teen parents, the hungry. I know that I did make a difference for at least some. And that is gratifying.

Since donning this clergy hat, I wanted to make a difference to one seeker - or to many - but one never knows if or how that difference manifests itself. As I leave Soul Link Faith Community and Tioga County, PA, I am told that I did make a difference. So many people have said that the presence of this accepting church has been positive in the community. The ways it has made an impact are not blatant. People who don’t fit the standard Christian mold found a place to worship where they were accepted and welcomed. Those who seek God, but are not sure -- who ever is -- found they could ask questions in an open forum without concern of ridicule or derision. Some who were jaded by previous religious experience joined and found a niche. One man told me I had saved Christianity for him. I am humbled.

Since I am not motivated by money I thank God that the non-tangible things that motivate me have an effect. I will miss this Pennsylvania mountain area where I am always considered a "flatlander." Going home to the West has its drawbacks.

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