01 February, 2008

"She Took The High Road"

How would you like to be remembered? At our recent Church Council retreat we were given an assignment to create our own, personal, coat-of-arms. We were to depict various characteristics and traits, accomplishments, growth opportunity areas and, finally, three words we'd like to have etched on our tombstones! I had trouble with the three words. Although, naturally, LIFE IS GOOD did come to mind. (The humor that epitaph might elicit wasn't lost on me, either.)

When installed as a member of Congregation Council these words are spoken: "It will be your responsibility to see that the words and deeds of this household of faith reflect him in whose name we gather. You are to work together with other members to see that the worship and work of Christ are done in this congregation, and that God's will is done in this community and in the whole world. You are to be diligent in your specific area of serving, that the one Lord who empowers you is glorified. You are to be examples of faith active in love, to help maintain the life and harmony of this congregation."

As an elected officer these words take on magnified importance. I have prayed, listened, responded, acted, and been present when it was necessary and important to maintain the life and harmony of my congregation through an example of faith active in love. God has placed me in this position of trust and responsibility, He has faith in me. I've had to dig deep; ethical questions and situations take on a new focus when acting on behalf of so many others, each day brings a new challenge. I know that I must prove at all times that God's faith and trust aren't misplaced in me. I tackle every situation head on. I can't deal in rumor or innuendo, but must stick to the facts. Emotions and personal feelings can make the water murky when a clear answer must be found. I play fair, by the rules; and expect everyone else to do the same. I keep lines of communication open at all times, for everyone. Closed doors and small, divisive groups are counter-productive. As I type this I am well aware that today is only February 1st, still a long eleven months left in this elected position! With God's help and guidance, much can be accomplished, in His name; and the time will pass quickly.

So, back to those three words; the assignment has stayed with me. I thought of "She Played Fair", I like to believe that I always do, but that didn't quite capture the spirit that I hope to communicate after I'm gone. I don't think I can limit the words to just three, I've decided now that I need five. (I don't know if I would have known this much about myself before this last month of daily challenge.) My phrase captures even more than playing fairly; it says that I will rise to a challenge, that I am bound to uphold a high level of ethical and moral justice, that I seek to understand before being understood, that I can stand up for myself and for what's right. How do I know that I can be and do all these things? Because God is by my side! With confidence, and faith active in love, my words are these:
Life is Good!

6 comments:

quiltteacher said...

Well said. You are and alway have taken the high road. Best of luck with your responsiblies over the next 11 months.

Ancestor Collector said...

Very well written. I wish all who served on my church council aspired to the high standards you set for yourself. It would be so easy to maintain the life and harmony of the congregation, wouldn't it? Our annual meeting is Sunday....say a prayer for us. It's been a tough time.

Karen Dianne Lee said...

I love what you wrote and the photo at the end - it really made the message sink in!

You're one of the best!

Marcie said...

I can think of three words: "Stand for Something"! And you do! You take the high road and your influence elevates the rest of us a bit. I love that about you! Thanks! (What a neat exercise!)

Quiltdivajulie said...

Amen! Well done...

Tanya said...

For the past 8 months I have acted as an elder at my little church though in all honesty I don't think I gave the call to the position the amount of thought that you have given yours. Just that there was a need and I wanted to express my love for Christ and His church in this particular way. But thank you for putting the words down for this very precious responsibility. I will ponder them today.