As we will be gathering at our Annual Conference next week, this will be the closing Puzzler’s Corner for the Midwest District and for me as the Superintendent. I want to say thank you, not only for the celebration on April 30 but also for the privilege and honor to have been on this journey with you for the past five years.
Together we have planted seeds for the new Michigan Conference, have weathered the storm of a pandemic, have had to say goodbye to laity, clergy, and faith communities who have gone on to glory or are preparing to start new paths of faith, mission, and ministry and to learn and grow as our Lord continues to speak to us and call us to a life of service for His sake.
Each day brings new struggles, tasks, and troubles while simultaneously offering us joys, celebrations, and even miracles. Our faith assures us that God is with us in the peaks and valleys and the places in between. And though we can’t see the future clearly, know that our Lord is not through with us yet. As I will continue to serve as the next Superintendent of the East Winds District, I hope these little Puzzler’s Corner blog posts have been a source of comfort, discernment, and inspiration for these past 5 years.
When I was in what is now fondly known as Middle School, I read the first book of Tolkien’s trilogy The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. This particular series of books introduced me to dragons, magic, and the epic battle of good vs. evil. This first book also included a song/poem which is the title of today’s blog.
I share the second verse with you to help you know that our journeys of mission and ministry continue. The Lord is shaping us for the next thing, preparing us for those who are still lost and have no voice, for people who hunger and thirst to know they matter and that God is with us. May we strive to wear the mantle of service and servant ministry that we have been given. May we seek to embrace the words attributed to John Wesley to do all that we can, whenever and however we can for whomever we can. And may the words of Tolkien help us to know that no matter where our road leads, God is our constant companion who surrounds us, sustains us and supports us with His everlasting love.
The Road goes ever on and on,
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.