This past Friday, I was ordained as an Elder (to be an Elder, to Eldership, to Elder-ness?) in the Free Methodist Church. Reverend Robert Adam Davidson. I am now officially Pastor Adam. It feels strange, but in a very good way. To be ordained means that you are set apart, under the recognition that God has called and equipped you to serve Him in a different way. We’re all ministers; I just do it as a life vocation. It’s for more than tax reasons. It’s a response to God’s call on a young kid in Garden City, Michigan, who grew up in a pretty normal neighborhood where we rode bikes, played with fireworks and built forts. God had planted something in my heart and was making it grow, much to the surprise and (still) shock of some — including me. I think I’m still recovering. I’m not supposed to be this guy. I’m not supposed to be God’s servant, or His mouthpiece, or His carrier of love and grace. But now that’s my job. My calling. My life.
And I even have a piece of paper — Elder’s orders — to prove it, complete with a seal and the signature of the Bishop. It’s still sitting on the kitchen counter, mostly because I’m sort of expecting them to take it from me in a couple of days. I’m not sure why I think that the Bishop would call up and, clearing his throat, explain that the whole thing was just a clever ruse meant to impress my parents and make me feel like a big boy for a day. It’s probably just the gravity of the situation and the realization that God has done something in me that has nothing to do with how great I am or how quickly I can rattle off all the books of the New Testament. Church-ish people have been pouring into my life for almost 20 years, and this is the final bloom of seeds that were planted when my biggest concern was rescuing the princess on Mario Bros.
I do feel different. I feel separated. In a good way, and in a strange way, I feel set apart. I could sense it when the other Elders laid hands on Emily and I — that we are God’s dedicated servants in the Church, called to proclaim the Gospel wherever we’re at. God has chosen us to be regional mouthpieces for His message. I’m supposed to be a vessel for God’s incredible grace, His unending love and His limitless power. Wherever I’m at and whoever I come in contact with. For the sake of His glory; for the sake of His Church. His Kingdom. His plan. His purpose. Me.
I also feel strangely set apart from certain parts of my past that I tended to “haunt”. I keep going back, mentally, to my early childhood. I realized, after talking it out, that I keep “haunting” that time period in my life — going there and just roaming around, looking for something I can’t quite put my finger on. There are certain pains and experiences that God has been slowly redeeming from a long time ago. And it’s okay now. There is a sense of release, a feeling that it’s all tied up into a little “bow” now. Yes, I have arrived, but now it’s time for more arrivals — to keep doing the will of the Lord under the office and orders of a Rev. Do I feel different?
I have a title that points all glory to God. My life — my very existence — is to serve the Church. It’s official. And it’s very real.
Oh, if you need to get married, I can do that. Finally.