A Dangling Participle
Hello fellow Mountain Taker. The Lord has just taken me through a rapid series of experiences filled with unexpected emotion and spiritual power. As I have been relating them to Mountain Takers close to me I’ve been urged to not keep them to myself. So, in the next three installments of this blog I am going relate them and the lessons learned to you. These experiences all happened in just two days and as I discovered they had both seen and unseen dimensions. I hope you will be encouraged by them as we have been.
Experience #1 – A Dangling Participle
Those of you who have been walking with us on this journey for a while are aware that three and a half years ago my wife, Susi, and I gave up the life that had defined us for over 30 years to follow the Lord’s call into new and uncharted territory. To do that meant turning the church we had pastored for the last 22 years over to a new team, which we did in May 2009.
One of the many kindnesses extended to us by the church leadership was the continued use of my office at the church, “Until such time as it’s needed.” To be honest, other than a time to time place for prayer, the primary function of this office since 2009 has been storage both for me and progressively for the church. My home office is where I work from now.
Given this reality, when word came this last weekend the space was now needed by the church staff one would’ve thought such news should be of no consequence. “Okay, time to move.” What I wasn’t prepared for was the emotion the idea of that move triggered in me. It took me the better part of a day to process and come to terms with it.
As I got ready the next day to begin sorting through what to leave and what to bring home the Lord spoke this phrase to me, “A dangling participle”. Grammar has never been my favorite or best subject. And I don’t truly even know what a “dangling participle” is, except that the sense I got from the Lord was that for me right then it represented an unfinished or incomplete something that was now being completed.
As I continued to work through my old files I began to see that even though Susi and I had truly left the Office of Pastor behind in 2009, somehow the office space still had an unseen hold on me.
The best way I know to relate this is to use the illustration of soul ties. Usually when we use that term we’re thinking of something negative, i.e. an ungodly soul tie. Soul ties are most often associated with relationships between people. What the Lord taught me in this experience is that we can also have soul ties to places, and soul ties do not need to be negative. My office at church was a very positive and powerful place for me for many years. My “dangling participle” however was that tie. As soon as I saw what it was I broke it and new freedom flooded my soul!
As I have been sharing this event I have discovered my experience is not unique to me. Many people entering retirement, or leaving a position, [or home] they’ve been in a long time can face similar inexplicable feelings. It’s good to know that even the space we work in can over time have an unseen hold on us. How good it is to know that Father wants to set us free as He moves us on.
I hope this encourages you as it has me.
Have a great week on your Mountain, and stay tuned for the next installment.