the sublime (philosophical): the term especially refers to a greatness beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement, or imitation

I am in a time of transition.

It is exhausting.

It is incredibly exhilarating.

Transitions to me are like the sublime.

When you put in the word sublime into the merriam-webster.com site, it gives you a scientific definition. I’m not talking science. (Well, maybe I am, but not knowingly.) I’m talking about the sublime. So, today, we had to go with the wikipedia version to define it. It’s the thing that sits you on the edge of all your greatest imaginations and dreams and hopes and at the same time is absolutely terrifying. You can go either way, but you venture into the unknown greatness knowing that there is possibility for amazing things you could only ever fathom. It’s so frightening yet so exciting all at once.

One of my favorite paintings form my art history days represents this perfectly. Thomas Cole’s View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm – The Oxbow, 1863, housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, NY. It depicts a beautiful landscape with sunshine and green, lush, yet there is the threat of an oncoming storm. Nature is so beautiful yet so powerful it’s almost terrifying. A storm can bring destruction but it also brings new life. When I look at this painting, I feel the sublime.

Cole-T.-The-Oxbow
From the Hudson River School

Right now, I am in the midst of a lot of transitions. I’ve been in some for longer than others. And in other ways, I am learning to help others transition, and learning a lot about myself in the process.

  • I am in the process of stepping down from my work with Parity as their Emerging Pastors Community Organizer. I have loved this work, but it is time to move onto something new.
  • I was recently certified ready to receive a call in the PCUSA. Which means writing a Personal Information Form to find another job while still trying to honor and be faithful to my current work.
  • I just completed my first week of Transitional Ministry Training with the Synod of Lincoln Trails. So, now I am mulling over what it would mean to serve as a transitional minister as a calling.
  • I am exploring what it means to help churches in their transitions through the Presbytery of Chicago.

There are other things, but I’ll save those for another day. All that is to say, there’s a lot of things happening. There are a lot of unknowns. There is a lot of possibility. There is a lot of room for failure and for learning. There is a lot of processing to do. But it is really exciting.

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