As many of you know, I had my ordination interview before the conference Board of Ordained Ministry last week. I can report to you that I was approved for ordination. It is never wise to count unhatched chickens, but unless something unforeseen happens, I will be ordained at annual conference in Sioux Falls in June of 2012.
I started thinking about the rather unusual path I’ve taken to becoming an ordained minister. I went to a very small church when I was growing up, so small that it did not have a youth group or, after a while, even a Sunday school. After high school, I went to business school and then to law school. I was a lawyer for the state of South Dakota for six and a half years, then was in private practice for fifteen years before starting seminary. For two years, I was a full-time student, part-time lawyer, and part-time pastor. Then, for another year, I was a full-time student and a full-time pastor.
Along the way, I’ve had a lot of fun and gotten to do a lot of things that many people don’t get to do. In no particular order, I’ve been a local public address announcer, a community theater actor, a singer, and a comedian. I’ve conducted jury trials and argued in front of the South Dakota Supreme Court. I’ve lived in several different places in South Dakota, and have met an incredible number of wonderful people. Also, along the way, I met the most wonderful woman in the world, and am lucky enough to have had her as my wife for over twenty-two years. I have been blessed in many ways and have led what could be considered a unique life.
I’m not saying any of this to brag about myself. Here’s my point: you’ve led a unique life, too. I don’t know who’s reading this or what you’ve done, but I’ll bet, if you think about it, that you’ve done a lot of things that many people don’t get to do, too. I’ll bet you’ve met an incredible number of wonderful people, too. I’ll bet that, if you really think about it, you’ve been blessed in many ways, too, along the way to your unique life.
I read recently that soon there will be seven billion people living on planet earth. Of course, there are billions of others who’ve lived on planet earth in the past. Yet, no two of their lives have been exactly the same.
That’s pretty incredible, when you stop and think about it. It seems like it to me, anyway. All those billions of people, and no two exactly alike. God created each of those billions of people to be unique, and to live his or her unique life. God is still doing that today.
I’d encourage you to just take a minute today and look at your own life. Think about the unique life you’ve led, and the wonderful people you’ve gotten to know. Then say thanks to God for creating you to be unique, and for guiding you through your own unique life.