With a new life circumstance comes a new name for this blog. In a little over a week, my time at Rye Congregational Church will come to an end. Following some time off in Seattle, and a summer job at Pilgrim Pines Conference Center, I will be moving to seminary in Chicago. So, I figure this time of transition is a suitable occasion to give this blog a new name that better reflects my life experiences.
From this point forward, I declare this blog be known as Lingering Providence (unless I feel like changing the name again at a later date).
As some of my readers already know, Lingering Providence is a term stolen from a dear professor at SPU, Dr. Frank Anthony Spina. When Dr. Spina talks about Lingering Providence, he likes to tell the story from Genesis when Joseph is sent out to find his brothers who are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Along the way, Joseph is found by someone who is simply identified by the narrator as "a man." This mysterious character directs Joseph to Dothan, and this is where Joseph finds his brothers. You know the events that follow. In the end, Joseph becomes number two in all of Egypt and rescues his entire family from the grip of famine.
The strange thing about this story is that Joseph doesn't find his brothers without the help of the man. We easily overlook the importance of his role in the story, and yet we don't get this amazing story without him.
Sometimes God works in mighty, direct, and unrestrained ways. However, from personal experience, God's dealings with humanity seem to be less obtrusive, like the role of "a man" in Joseph's narrative. We try to dismiss the events of life as happenstance or good fortune, yet the work of God persists. Sometimes our acknowledging of God's providence comes in a lingering fashion; it takes us a while to see where God's hand has been at work in our lives. Whether it is God whose providence lingers, or simply our inability to observe it right away, it would seem that we are not left to our own devises. Our lives intersect with the divine, and our own stories are forever altered because of this encounter. Examples of this from my own life would be worth many subsequent posts. If you keep reading, I'm sure you'll come across more than a few.