In the fourth post of Christmas, I truly give to you…
I WONDER AS I WANDER
Words and Music collected by John Jacob Niles
1. I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die.
For poor on’ry people like you and like I…
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.
2. When Mary birthed Jesus ’twas in a cow’s stall,
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all.
But high from God’s heaven a star’s light did fall,
And the promise of ages it then did recall.
3. If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing,
A star in the sky, or a bird on the wing,
Or all of God’s angels in heav’n for to sing,
He surely could have it, ’cause he was the King.
(from “The Hymns and Carols of Christmas“)
I chose to reflect on this Christmas carol today for a number of reasons. First, I have received some messages asking me about my decision to leave pastoral ministry and some helpful and encouraging comments to further direct my efforts with this blog. (I think you will be seeing some beneficial changes in the coming weeks).
The song invites us to meditate on the meaning of Christ’s coming to earth and humbly reflect on God’s abundant grace to die for us (in the form of God’s Son) though we are “on’ry” and often ungrateful. Christ’s selflessly to give up all he had (and could have obtained) in order to enter our broken lives and suffer death for our sake contrasts sharply with our selfish aims to grab all we can whenever we can get it.
The song title, however, moves me to consider more broadly what I am doing with my life. On the surface, it can seem that by leaving pastoral ministry I am (like Jonah) running away from God’s call to preach. I wonder about this as I wander in this in-between stage, not connected to a particular church or denomination, not serving in a full-time ministry or service. I wonder as I wander the job postings and see one that would be more in the field of ministry if I am called to pursue that instead of a career in writing.
In a more worldly sense, I continue to wonder what field of writing I should pursue as I wander around the blogosphere and write posts that range from political commentary to satire, to spiritual reflections. I wonder if I should follow the current trend of specialization “branding” and produce a blog that appeals to what particular potential employers might be looking for.
One helpful comment I received was maybe I should have two blogs. I see some value in this. I could develop one to promote my services as a writer of a particular brand, with postings that would serve as an attractive portfolio of what I’m capable of producing. This blog (here) would then remain an outlet for creative endeavors, a potpourri of this-and-that, that might help me network with other bloggers and develop the craft of writing.
I’m still wondering (and wandering), so bear with me. In the meantime, I welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions. I think journeys only become adventures when you share them with others.
– Introduction – “The 12 Posts of Christmas”
– In the first post of Christmas, I truly gave to you – “God is With Us (a Christmas Story based on Matthew 1.18-2.12)”
– In the second post of Christmas, I truly gave to you – “Assaulting a Felon with a Fruitcake”
– In the third post of Christmas, I truly gave to you – “Some of the Best Christmas Blogs for 2012”
– In the fifth post of Christmas, I truly gave to you – “Be More Like a Child at Christmas (and beyond)”
– In the sixth post of Christmas, I truly gave to you – “Five Favorite Movies for the Christmas Season”
– In the seventh post of Christmas, I truly gave to you – “From India to Indiana: My New E-Pal”
– In the eighth post of Christmas, I truly gave to you – “What Sam Found in His Backpack After Break (A Prompted Poem)”
– In the ninth post of Christmas, I truly gave to you – “The Precise Dilemma: A Book Review”
– In the tenth post of Christmas, I truly gave to you – “Potentially Praiseworthy Poems Posted on WordPress“