In my last years of college, I sit with peers in the coliseum on Sunday morning. Attend this mega church where throngs gather to hear the Word proclaimed, worship with arms raised, hearts expectant. And I find myself transfixed in watching. Watching those pastors wives on the front row. The ones absent when my eyes sat level with the back of the hard pew at the Catholic Church. Those pews I dusted with my Grandma on Saturday mornings.
I watch how these women stand next to their husbands, wrap their arms around their children, smile and take the hands of those that approach them after the sermon. The way they bow their heads, pray with eyes closed tight bending over those kneeling at the altar.
And I wonder if this life could be mine. This girl with absentee parents, no theological background who doesn’t know how to play the piano, sing or speak in public – could she do that? Be that woman? The pastor’s wife.
That dream; He fulfills what I think is out of reach. I marry this man, the architect who loves Jesus more than designing buildings and together we take this journey into vocational ministry with linked arms more than 21 years now. A life that carries weight I couldn’t see all those years I watched because of grace.
And as I brush shoulders with almost eighty pastors and some of their wives last night, under the stars with plates of food in hand, I listen to their struggles, joys, and triumphs. I think about the bumblebee effect (Soul Cravings by Erwin McManus).
How a bumblebee, by all theories of aerodynamics and physics should not be able to fly. No scientific explanation as to why; it just does. Because no one told it, that it was impossible. The way sometimes we feel that our dreams are out of reach, and how perspective settles in when we know our lives exist because of destiny.
The spirit soars through adversity when we are convinced there is purpose to our struggle.
And I find this in the quiet hours this morning before the sun rises and the young ones stir. How Gertrude Hobbs marries Oswald Chambers and lives only six years as his wife before his unfortunate death. As a court stenographer, she uses her skill to capture his sermons verbatim in those short years together.
Though he publishes only one book in his lifetime, for half a century she labors to give his words to the world under thirty titles. My Utmost for His Highest stays in continuous print since 1935 and in the last decade of the century, it remains a top ten title of religious bestselling books.
Gertrude is bumblebee. I am bumblebee. You are bumblebee.
Made to fulfill a specific purpose. Bypassing flowers that yield greater reward to fulfill calling. Destiny awaits us all. And in the midst of folding clothes, washing dishes, changing diapers, pushing the grocery cart down the aisle, we strap on the seat belt and take the unexpected flight.
And in our courage to step into what the world and our self-doubt says is impossible, we find the extraordinary of who God is by giving ourselves to the world.
Where do you dream of flying? Are you letting circumstances, what the world says you can’t do keep you off the runway?