Aug 5 9:22pm – I’m going to stay up tonight and watch the Curiosity landing on Mars. If all goes well, Curiosity should touch down on the red planet around 1:31am ET Mon morning. Live coverage begins at 11pm ET Sun night on NASA TV – I’m watching it on my Roku. I’ve actually had the touchdown date in my calendar for several months – I’m that way. Interesting thing about the landing – We People of Earth won’t know if Curiosity touches down safely or not for at least 14 minutes after the planned touchdown at 1:31am ET – it takes that long for radio signals to get from Mars to Earth. But, also, there is lots going on so it may even be hours or days until final confirmation that Curiosity has safely – or not – landed on Mars. At some point, I will need to go to bed.
Clayton told the church today that I had decided to step down as an elder. (Thank you, Clayton, for your kind words and thoughts.) I am sad about this but for many weeks I have felt strong about this decision. I felt – out of respect for the other elders and the entire church – that I couldn’t and shouldn’t leave them hanging until they finally figured out what I was thinking and feeling. There is much to be done and I didn’t want to be yet another challenge for them to deal with.
Anyway, this was not a difficult decision for me and not one that I had to struggle with too much – other than being very sad that I could not continue to serve in good conscience. My decision was a matter of conviction. I believe – and have believed – that when Paul wrote to Timothy (I Tim 2) and Titus (Titus 1) saying that an elder should be “faithful to his wife” (NIV) or be “the husband of one wife” (NASV), that this was God’s plan for a man when serving as an elder – to be honored to serve with the support and love of his wife. I don’t believe that God is a technical God – I think that God has good reasons for saying and doing the things that he says and does.
In this matter, I understand that God would have an elder be able to serve well and with honor along with a strong and supporting wife. Why? Because of all the reasons that Regina afforded me to enable me to serve – her compassion, ability to listen, advice, love, tenderness, sternness, and unending amounts of patience. Regina was a safe place for me when I served. And I think Regina served God’s purposes well in empowering me to serve as an elder. She did it unselfishly.
So, I don’t have a wife now. I don’t think I can fully and completely serve as I would desire and as, I believe, God would have me serve.
No regrets. No permanent damage. No anger.
I told Clayton, Mike, and Jim that I will continue to serve as best I can and in any way that I can – just not as an elder.
I’m thankful for the many years that I was able to serve – sometimes with wisdom and dignity. Other times mostly just feeling my way through the dark. And more often than not without any knowledge other than a faith in God.
It’s been good. Thanks to all who supported me over the years – special thanks to my family and Regina.
God be with us all.