I am scurrying around trying to make sure that everything is done in preparation for tomorrow’s odyssey. We leave from Albuquerque and flight through Houston, Atlanta, and then finally New York. While I have my foot still here, I have to admit my other foot is already in Manhattan. We are planning on having dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the city. It is called Ellen’s Stardust Diner. All of the wait staff is trying to make it on Broadway. While eating dinner it is not uncommon for a waiter or waitress to pop out a show tune in the middle of the chaos of a diner in Times Square.
I know that my transition from real life to a vacation is small compared to moving or starting a new job. I have done those things and it is not easy. I remember finding myself wanting to balance both places, only to surrender to the demands that stood before me. I had to move into one world by letting go of the other. Perhaps in transitioning there is an element of grief that occurs.
I move from looking forward to a vacation to remembering what my life was like almost nine years ago when I transitioned from being a teacher in Houston to doing full time church work in a small town in New Mexico. I think the biggest thing that surprised me was the need to mourn the loss of my former career. While I was excited about moving forward in my call to ministry, I also was sad as I said goodbye to my students and friends. For the first full year I was in New Mexico I looked at the calendar and thought to myself, “Oh. It’s time for Region Choir,” or, “Wow it’s time for the Texas Music Educators Conference.” It was a hard year readjusting to life in a new place and a new mission.
I never imagined that my journey would take me through nine years of exciting and incredible ministry in New Mexico. I look forward to many more adventures, but I will never forget the different ways I had to navigate the waters as life gave way to different places and opportunities. Today I give thanks for my journey and the many lessons that I have learned as I walk down my unique path. Through it all, I will never stop giving thanks for the many people that I have encountered along the way.