I spoke several weeks ago about milestones. This week I want to speak about change in our lives. Change is scary and it brings with it a certain amount of apprehension. People who fear change also tend to lash out at others, become hateful, and even damaging to others.
I know because I too fear change. The realization that I will one day not be Presiding Bishop of the church sent me into a tailspin. I have been a Bishop longer than I have not now and out of that time, I have been the Presiding Bishop of a church 95% of the time. The thought that the ministry that has defined me for almost 20 years will come to a close is scary.
And like most people, I pushed for the changes to our Canon Laws that limited my time as Presiding Bishop. We call that voting against our own self-interest. Far too often, we create the situations we find ourselves in because we choose to do something others warn us will hurt us in the long run.
At the last Synod of the church, Bishop Borham (may he rest in peace) and several others tried to talk me out of the changes I proposed. They offered suggestions that would limit my position, offer for the removal of a bad Presiding Bishop, in an effort to keep me from putting in place term limits. However, I pushed for the changes. I was afraid of getting a bad person in the position and then having the church forever damaged by them.
You see, I allowed my fear of possible change to cause me to vote for something that would change my life too. And now, I am stuck with it. So now I must figure out what my life, what my ministry will be like once I am no longer the Presiding Bishop of the church.
Mind you, I can run one more time for the position at this coming Synod in 2019. But I could be voted out at the Synod. And that is the reason for my worry.
This coming Tuesday, November 6, we will all head to the polls to vote. As we do that, remember the lesson from my life and do not vote against your own self interest. Do not vote for a candidate because they sound good. Look at their record. Did they help the poor? Are they helping immigrants? Do they want to give healthcare to those who need it most? Or are they only saying they will?
Vote your conscience on Tuesday.