In the spring of 2012 I was living in a pretty little A-frame house in the woods about 15 minutes outside of Bala, Ontario. I ran a service business called Muskoka Wildlife Control. We were licensed by the MNR to assist people with nuisance wildlife issues. I trapped and relocated fur bearing animals, especially skunks and racoons. I also excluded a lot of squirrels from a lot of cottages! Our work was always humane, and while often dirty, it was generally interesting.
If you could go back in time and talk to me that spring of 2012 and ask me about the priesthood I would have told you that it was a career I thought a lot about as a young man. The 47 year old version of me would likely have smiled and recounted how sure I was in my 20’s that I was going to be a priest. Then I would have said something pleasant about how quickly the years, even decades, fall away and how you just never know what life is going to bring. What you would never have been able to convince me of was that before my 55th birthday (May 25th if you want to make a fuss!) I would be an ordained priest. The thought would have been laughably absurd. That ship had sailed half a lifetime ago and I was led in completely different directions.
This week as I noted the first anniversary of my ordination (thank you for all of the congratulations and kind words I received) I did some reflecting about the amazing unpredictability of life. Ruthanne was saying just this morning, “You just never know what God has in store.” We worship a God who is all loving, a God with a great big, beautiful plan of redemption and a God personally interested in the well being of each of us. In short; God is always good and always dynamic. What we can never do is look around at our current set of life circumstances and assume they will remain unchanged moving forward.
As 2020 rolls along the various pandemic protocols will begin to ease. In time things will open again, including our church, and life will take on a new normal. As we anticipate these changes I encourage you to engage in that most Christian of attitudes; hope. Look to the future with a hope rooted firmly in God. We don’t know what the post-pandemic world will look like but we know that we can trust the mystery of tomorrow to the divine source of love. As Christians we can expect amazing and unpredictable things as we trust our future to God, I know because in the last decade, I have seen living proof!