Friday, January 24, 2014

"And so it goes"

   It was written in 1983, although not released until 1989, and was described in 2010 by its composer as both his best work and least appreciated. According to our Web Bible (Wikipedia) it was a song about a doomed relationship between Billy Joel, who was in his mid-30s, and Elle Macpherson, who was only a teenager.

   In every heart there is a room
   A sanctuary safe and strong
   To heal the wounds from lovers past
   Until a new one comes along

   I spoke to you in cautious tones
   You answered me with no pretense
   And still I feel I said too much
   My silence is my self defense

   And every time I’ve held a rose
   It seems I only felt the thorns
   And so it goes, and so it goes
   And so will you soon I suppose.

   As I have contemplated my blogging silence over recent months, I came to terms with two issues: first, unlike many bloggers, I am not compelled to constantly post every meaningless life experience and thought; and second, there are times when I simply have a clog in my blog. “And so it goes, and so it goes.”
   Unlike many of my contemporaries, I have viewed my role as less that of a priest and more that of a prophet. Even though, as evangelicals, most would be quick to claim a New Testament title of “pastor” and renounce any suggestion of being a “priest”, since Christ expanded the priestly role to every believer, still the charge is not without foundation. Since our culture does not use a biblical paradigm, they are not prevented from assuming and confusing a New vs Old Testament concept. Personally, I think that in many cases they are more honest about reality than are “men of the cloth”. The very fact that most use the distinguishing labels of “clergy” and “laity” validates my claim. “And so it goes, and so it goes.”
   Any time a spiritual leader merely carries out the function of the office in such a predictable manner that there are no surprises, they are functioning as a priest. They are “doing what they are paid to.” While a prophet may indeed carry out the same functions in spiritual leadership, they do not restrict themselves to these, but continue to seek a fresh word from God that challenges the status quo. They are convinced that if the “boat ain’t rocking”, at least some of the time, “then I ain’t doing my job!” “And so it goes, and so it goes.”
   It should come as no surprise that my return from a two month sabbatical has compelled me to spend a great deal of time commiserating with Old Testament prophets. While away, I was able to process a journey that led to a clogged blog. Our twenty years as a church has been frenetic. We moved from place-to-place, schedule-to-schedule in such rapid succession that I was spending too much time “spinning plates” rather than preparing meals. The revolving door of leaders that came and went like seasonal migrating birds left me “spinning” and my head too! “And so it goes, and so it goes.”
   My return has me back in my prophetic garb. I know now that I must guard against the influences that would redefine my calling, dull my sword and clog my blog. It is going to be a challenge because the birds keep migrating. Where’s Elmer Fudd when you need him? “And so it goes, and so it goes.”

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