OSL Stephen Ministries
Whether we are aware of it or not, our lives and who we are continue to unfold. We are most likely to become aware of this unfolding when there are dramatic transitions in our lives such as major changes in careers, health status, relationships, living situations, or faith journeys. This unfolding process may be cause for celebration, for disappointment, for challenge—even for grieving. However our lives unfold, we are each in a different place today than we were yesterday or will be tomorrow.
Typically we are unaware of this unfolding. One way to raise our awareness would be to draw the person we perceive ourselves to be every week or every month, every year, or even every decade. This exercise would probably be most dramatic for a child when the learning and unfolding process is most rapid and most visible—and the change from one period to the next is most apparent. But who we are as adults continues to unfold as we age. In some respects, we can choose the direction of this unfolding; in other ways, it happens in spite of our best—or worst—intentions.
In one of his last chapel sermons of the school year, Augustana University Campus Pastor Paul Rohde talked about the selling of Joseph into slavery. In Genesis, Joseph says to his brothers in Egypt, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” Paul lifted up the temptation “to flatten things out, cut off all the rough edges and say only that to be a Christian is good—to be good, to do good, to trust good…but this skips over all the tortuous muddy middle and the profound opportunity to become good.” Life, after all, is a process, an unfolding story, a picture drawn with a pencil in the absence of an eraser. Even when it seems we are taking two steps forward and one step back—or perhaps one step forward and two steps back—we are being transformed every day.
Paul concluded his musings about unfolding thus: “God means the power of unfolding for good—even when we don’t love change or changing… Thanks to Easter and a God of new life, we live toward the promise that every ending is a new beginning. Life unfolds; we die and rise daily in hundreds of ways… The Bible prods and pulls us along, tears us open until trust is deeper, love is whole, and faith in Jesus is as tangible as our next step.”
If your life is unfolding in a difficult way, or you know someone who is struggling, a Stephen Minister can help. Talk with Pr. Tim Lemme, firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-2942, ext. 19, to learn more.