Saturday, March 8, 2014

     

Now Is the Acceptable Time                  

  

Do we ever really know what and where the "acceptable time" is - even after over 50 years of being ordained (and years of ministry even before the diplomas)?

 

Fifty years ago, my wife Lenore and I were set to go to fulfill, in part, our education's call to ministry. She had received her MA/CE the year before, and we were set for our first parish in Kansas with our infant daughter who had been born earlier that year. Little did we know that meant movements which later came unexpectedly... not just in a calling to a particular church in a specific town. What it meant was to be open to what became our "acceptable time." And believe me, there were some pretty crazy times and places. In one instance, it meant leaving "mother church" (and her gifts of a parish ministry) and stepping into the crazy world of radio and rock 'n roll music. Lenore moved into finding homes for refugees from all over the world, ultimately bringing over 6,000 to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

  

For me, it led me into a whole new world of rock 'n roll music - radio opportunities to spread the gospel using the writings of listeners from all over the world, interpreted by youth and young adults with the mix of music by the Beatles, Santana, the Bee-Gees and a myriad of rock music stars. The Gospel was discovered both in the music and especially in the writings of youth and young adults who dared to share their inner most experiences. One particular, very moving writing was from a young woman who had been sexually abused. We were ahead of the times for that expression.

  

Later, I was exposed to the art of non-verbal clowning by a Lutheran pastor, which led my very creative wife and me into hospital rooms and particularly among medically fragile children. One son and wife also taught overseas and that meant trips to see them...with the stipulation "be sure to bring your clowns." So we added Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Vienna, Denmark and later China to those opportunities.

  

This is not to impress you with what we found ourselves engaged in, but instead to share the unexpected opportunities that the Spirit called us to follow as our "acceptable time." That usually meant gulping and saying, "Do you really want us to be sharing the good news this way?"

  

So I wonder for those reading these words: What is your calling within your "acceptable time" that may be totally outside anything you ever thought or imagined? Somehow it has been grace, that wonderful dimension of "acceptance," that has reached into your life - or is doing so now - calling you to be engaged in your "acceptable time," not just for your salvation, but so that others may come to know the accepting, unconditional love of God's grace. 

  

       

Rev. Bud Frimoth

SFTS Alumnus, BD and MA/CE 1954