Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Five: A Fork in the Road

Singing Owl has posted an amazing Friday Five. I am blown away with this one. It is a good one for Lent when I am looking at the times when I have changed, when I have taken the path less traveled or when I have chosen Christ’s way rather than my own.

I am at a life-changing juncture. I do not know which way I will go, but I have been thinking about the times, people and events that changed my life (for good or ill) in significant ways. For today's Friday Five, share with us five "fork-in-the-road" events, or persons, or choices. And how did life change after these forks in the road?”

1. One was going to college. It was considered a waste of money to send a girl to college when all she was going to do was get married when I was 17. But I did get a scholarship and was pig-headed enough to go. I went from being a poor student to the dean’s list. My brother and I were the first in our family to get higher education. It moved both B. and me from being working-class to being middle-classed. That I went on to work on my doctorate even blew me away.

2. Choosing to follow Christ’s way was one that was not well supported by family either. It was truly the path not well traveled. I must admit that it has been a trail that has forked many times: convent, ordination, several parishes, coming out but they have all been attempts to be faithful. I cannot think of what my life would have been if I had remained a professional musician—it would have been POOR, that’s for sure. Financially I would have been better if I had stayed a teacher, but I doubt my psyche would have.

3. The choice not to be intimidated by my bishop’s bullying tactics and to stand for what was true and right before God was a difficult choice. I had to choose to follow Christ rather than “obey my bishop.” Too bad many Episcopal clergy do not understand the injunction to obey their bishop means to “obey Christ in the person of one’s bishop.” This has been a painful journey because I miss my Church so much, but God has blessed this passage with honorable and holy companions along the way.

4. The path through Lutheranism has brought some important growth to my faith. It has made me more pliant in my understanding of liturgy and theology. It has called me to appreciate the German and Scandinavian cultures and laugh at my Anglican heritage a bit more.

5. Like Singing Owl, I too stand at a crossroads. I am nearing retirement. I will need to choose to retire sometime in the next 5 years. Since I am healthy, I am more inclined to continue working because I love my congregation. There is the possibility of moving south where my joints are a bit better oiled and I could work within my own denomination. But that remains to be seen. It would be nice to be closer to family. That decision I do not have to make now. I can continue on my present path. The economy may inform this decision more than anything else.


Singing Owl said...

Thanks for these wonderful answers. I am praying for you now.

As for me, I'm about to be 59--so I know that in not-so-many-years I will need to retire too. I wish I had been able to just stay happily at my little parish until that time came. Such is not to be. They love me--and I love them. But it is time to go. Where? Don't know.

I didn't know the answers to this Friday Five would be so moving!

Auntie Knickers said...

Interesting forks you took. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara B. said...

Hooray for #3!