back and forth to that scenic spot. There was even a park ranger there, chatting with passersby. Clearly, the outcropping was safe, but my fear kicked in.
I warned Carolyn not to go, then I gave her up to the Lord and turned my back, expecting never to see her or my friends alive again. I headed towards a safer spot with a panoramic view in practically every direction. The only thing that stood between me and that view was a ledge just above me. From my vantage point below, it seemed like the ledge dropped off into nothingness for thousands of feet. I was frozen. I just stood there and wrestled with my fear and resolve. I could just skip it and go back, but I knew that we wouldn’t be here ever again. Besides, after this, I would be busy collecting the bodies of my wife and friends from the bottom of the ravine that I was sure they had fallen into by now; so I thought I better try to see the view. The goal of the view gave me the courage and strength to leave my spot of safety and face the challenging few steps immediately before me. As I stepped up to the amazing view, I was about to shout a cry of victory. But, I was cut short by two teenagers in flip flops who hopped up beside me, took a selfie, and ran back down past me shouting encouragingly, “Dude, it’s not that bad!” I sheepishly followed them back down the path where I found Carolyn and our friends chatting with the ranger.
As Carolyn and I pack up and head back to San Diego, all of you are about to climb out on a ledge overlooking a fantastic vista. You are about to get a glimpse of the future with Pastor McLane arriving. Some of you may have a few fears; others may be cautiously optimistic; and some are so excited that you can hardly wait for September 18th (Pastor McLane’s first Sunday). All of those are appropriate feelings. As one who has been at this “ledge” multiple times, I am confident that the “vista” ahead is going to be magnificent. Yes, there is work to be done. And, everyone is going to have to get used to the new “us.” And, by Christmas, you are going to be so excited to invite friends to experience God’s love at this amazing church, its new-found enthusiasm and the fabulous view ahead.
In the words of some wise young adults, “Dude, it’s not that bad.”
I’ve just finished a letter to our elders summarizing some of the accomplishments all of you have made together during the last year. You can read it here August 23 2022 letter to Session.
In His Name, Pastor Neal
Our staff is voluntold each week and with grace they share their thoughts.