For the first time since 2008, my family woke up on a Sunday morning and didn’t get ready to go to Chestnut Grove Baptist Church. In fact, with the exception of three years that I spent as a senior pastor, this is the first time since 2001 that Rachel and I have woken up and gotten ready to go somewhere else. It is a strange feeling.
Add to that the fact that I’ve been asked to baptize a young soldier and his mom in a river later on this afternoon, and you have the recipe for an entirely different kind of Sunday.
But maybe not. Sure the routine will be different; the faces will not be the same; the locations and the actions will certainly be beyond the norm; but in the end, what is any Sunday other than a day set aside to worship God as He leads you? What is the life of a follower of Christ if not worship in everything that you do?
Today will be simultaneously hard and exhilarating. It will bring out nerves and energy. It will, in some ways, share similarities to the days that both Ella and Jon took their first steps: lots of wobbles, lots of gasps, lots of smiles in the end. Because first steps, new beginnings, always come with those things. And they are almost always memorable.
I still don’t know what God has planned for me in the near future. I’ve had quite a week – fell through my ceiling, broke my air conditioner, got bit by a dog – and the reality is that I’ll need to find a job soon. But at the same time, it’s been a week of firsts: published a fiction book, got inspired for a novel, saw several friends really warm up to (and buy) my work. I’m not breaking any sales records, but it’s nice when people not only support your dream, they discover you’re not crazy for having it.
As I look out on the sunshine and green grass, I’m grateful to have this new opportunity. I’m blessed that my wife is not only supportive of my dream, but is chasing her own right beside me. Do we have moments when we’re scared? Darn straight. But we also have moments when the presence and wisdom of God overwhelm us and remind us that He is the One who holds our future secure. When others might stand against us, He stands for us. And that is more than enough.
It’s a new day in the Brooks household. We’re committed to seizing it.