I live in a rather complex state of existence at the moment. Something somewhere between the ranks of The Salvation Army and ministry in the Methodist Church. Life changes for me yet again at the end of January as my colleague moves on to pastures new and as I fill in significant parts of his ministry alongside the tasks that are mine.
I've started blogging more regularly at my other blog with an Army flavour. Appears to be going well according to the hits, higher than they've ever been. But again, over there I blog about an Army that doesn't really exist in my territory. When we try to engage locally, in real time with real people, the picture feels as heavy and, quite frankly, non-sensical as it always did. Its not the Army I'm in. Sitting in a meeting, playing in the band and singing in the songsters just doesn't float my boat.
Its stupid really. I know what seems to make sense at this time. God is using me where I am in a significant way, not just where I work, but around the city. 'Just where he needs me, my Lord has placed me.' No-one, in these circumstances, would be thinking about going back to the Army. But we have offered to go back....it wasn't enthusiastically received, but I hadn't anticipated it would be. The experience has just led me to ask again and again, 'why are we even offering?'
Yet, all this stuff is a false dichotomy. I'm not a Salvationist in one place and a Methodist in the other. We live our lives as covenanted soldiers and the only bit of my officer covenant that aint easy to do is the bit that says to actually be an officer: I love and serve him supremely, I live to win souls and make their salvation the purpose of my life, we care for the poor and the needy, clothe the naked, love the unlovable and befriend those who have no friends, and we maintain the doctrines and principles of The Salvation Army.
There is no conclusion to this post...its confusing because I don't know which way to go. It doesn't make sense. However....I trust God implicitly and know that he will make his way clear. The reality is that there is precious little time to engage with the Army locally...however, the Army are not the only band who fight the Salvation War. So, until such times as it makes sense, I fight as a soldier on a different front. Prayer appreciated.