June 21st, the longest day of the year. I stood outside tonight in the deepening twilight and waited for the first star to appear. At 8:32 PM a bright star burned through the violet sky and I smiled as I said, “Thank you, Lord.” I wanted to thank God for my husband, and pray for his strength and creativity, and I wanted to praise God for today. But, it seemed like too many words and I settled for a simple, “Thank you.”
Today I cleaned out the last of my things at my office at Saddleback Church. My volunteer assistant was an expert at packing everything up and fitting it into my car. The office looked plain, devoid of personality. The only thing that was left to remind me of what I did in there was the list of the names of worship leaders I worked with, many of whom I mentored and personally trained. Their names were inscribed on the white board. That was fitting. The names of the worship leaders were left. That was my investment in Saddleback and that remained.
I am doing all right. Well, in fact. I am over the worst of the crying and I am finally sleeping through the night. My relationships at church are in good shape. This was the right decision, for them and for me. What I am is grateful. So, “Thank you, Lord,” for my husband who cooked chicken kabobs tonight, and “Thank you, Lord,” for my grandson, who is entering his senior year and sat with us talking after dinner, and “Thank you, Lord,” for what you did in me while I was on staff at Saddleback, and “Thank you, Lord,” for what you are doing in me and have planned for me.
June 21st, the longest day of the year. That first star at the end of the longest day was hopeful. I am too. And that’s worship in real life.