Prolonging. We all do this, it is human nature, but when something that’s an inevitability comes into existence, we try to prolong it as best as possible – even when this, at times, has a definite endpoint. We go by any means possible to try and not think on this thing, whatever it may be. We tell ourselves: “well, that’s two months away from now,” and “we’ve still got this (or that) that we’ve got to do.” But the reality is, time is harsh and it never ceases to bring the future into existence and the present into the past – one second at a time.
What am I referring to though? Me and my wife’s very good friend and pastor at our church got a call around two month’s ago that he would be transferred to another church, quite far away from where we currently reside. Everything that I’ve mentioned above… we’ve done them all. As today – his final day in our area and last Sunday at our church – grew near, it’s been on my mind constantly. Tomorrow, he and his wife will be turning away from here and travelling forward to another journey in their lives.
While he might have been our pastor, he has been a wonderful friend and mentor to me and my wife both over the past three years. In fact, he is like another father to us. Every Sunday, he would join us for lunch – his wife is (or was) a pastor here in our area as well and was unable to join us for lunch most every week – and well, we just got to be great friends. We enjoyed his company and looked forward to our lunches with him each weekend.
But, that’s not all there is to it though. No. In fact, when me and my wife bought our home around five years ago, we decided we wanted to find a church closer to our home. We ended up stumbling into our current church and decided to stay because we thoroughly enjoyed his teaching style – we didn’t know then that he had only just became the pastor at the church. But truth to the matter was, me and my wife were also trying to figure out this whole ‘being married’ deal then too. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it isn’t always easy and it most certainly doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Without really knowing him, we asked him for guidance and that was a stepping stone to not only to the strong marriage that we now share together, but a friendship that we will always hold dear.
Before long, he taught me how to run the computers and sound at the church, which is something that I had always been interested in as a child in my home church(es) and my wife was fully active in numerous organizations within our church. But together, the three of us started a contemporary praise band, which over the past two years has turned into a contemporary worship service at our church, the 505 Armory; a service that I recently delivered my first message at and will be the primary speaker of when we relaunch it this August.
When I had sinus surgery a few years ago, he was there to pray for me before I went under the knife, finding me laughing as he took pictures of me in my funny looking hospital gown and surgical cap. When Kimberly had surgery this past January, when I walked my wife into the hospital at 5:30 on that cold Winter morning, he was sitting there to comfort and pray with us before she went into the operating room. While this is his job as a pastor, it was his love and friendship that was most needed on this morning, as he fully understood how hard this time was for us, as this surgery would hopefully answer our questions as to why we weren’t able to have a child, after nearly two years of trying.
While he will live on within us through the 505 Armory, as I write this tonight, it is with a heavy heart. I’ve prolonged this day for a few months now, because I don’t want my good friend, mentor and teacher to leave, but I know (and have known) that he has to. I know that where he is going there is someone else that needs him more than we do. This is God’s will, yet even with that knowledge, it doesn’t alleviate my sorrow. Tomorrow will come and go, just as today has, and life will move forward as it is now. The lessons we’ve learned from this friend will go forth with us always, but as I bring this to a close, I only wish that I could prolong this day once again.
Time. It’s harsh and never halting, and my prolonging can no longer continue. How I wish I could somehow prolong this day for another two months, but I know that time will never allow it.