I've been fighting with myself for days about a commitment I made earlier in the month. I left my job at FedEx almost 6 years ago because my family was spinning way out of control and because the writing was on the wall: I'd come to Florida with one management team and when a new VP came in and my original boss left, the "fit" was no longer there. I'd come to the end of the line, at least with FedEx. There was no real closure--I simply walked away and concentrated on cutting my losses, getting on with "reinventing myself" one more time.
A few weeks ago, someone who was first my colleague and then became my boss right before I left, contacted me and on the spur of the moment, I decided I'd go back to the FedEx offices to see him and the folks I left behind. I'd been having a lot of dreams about FedEx and I had the sense that I really did need to go back and face into all that reality at least one more time. But I played some games with myself about what I would look like--slim, I'd wear my bright red high heels, the picture of calm, cool and collected priest.
Well, I'm not as slim as I had hoped. I'm probably going to wear my crocks. I have had to resist one impulse after another to cancel or postpone or do something to not follow through. But here's the thing. Part of the reason I left with such ambivalence is that most of the 5 years I spent working for FedEx here in Florida, I was afraid, always uneasy, always somehow waiting for the other shoe to drop which was highly irrational since in fact, no shoe had dropped in the first place. The truth was that I had never truly fit in a corporate management job. I'd had my moments, for sure. But it was not who I was called to be. That's why I always felt so uneasy and unsure.
I'm not going to see my old friends and colleagues tomorrow as the fully perfected person I sometimes fantazise I can become. But I'm going to see them as who I really am. Before my lunch with them, I will be making a presentation at our diocesan offices because I've applied for a grant that will help fund the expansion of our Centro ministries. Although things have not been completely well in my soul these past few weeks, I have still been carried along by grace. Both the Centro and our new Vineyard Eucharist on Sunday mornings have been unfolding and developing holy, wonderful ways. I now know that I am a new congregation planter through and through. If there are tense moments of unknowing and chaos, there is a sureness to the steps I take these days that I've never known before. I am not afraid. I am sad tonight that I've gained some of the weight I worked so hard to lose--and it would have been glorious to sail in all svelte and stuff. But it is much, much more important to simply go back as who I am today to face some monsters that maybe aren't, to thank some folks for the ways in which they walked with me in those years, and then get back to my life. Surely, all that is more important than what I might've, could've, should've looked like...