Every New Beginning…

Every New Beginning…

 — Pastor Scott Hausrath

     North Loup SDB Church, NE

 

I didn’t want to, but I had to. After all, how could I say no to God? So, in February of 2012, I moved from the Seattle metro area (population 3.6 million) to North Loup,

Nebraska (population 300). Why did I make such a radical move? Because I was asked to.

 

The Seventh Day Baptist congregation in N. Loup was searching for a pastor and they invited me to consider working with them in this capacity. As I met with them

in the fall of 2011, I saw what wonderful people they are, and I felt a strong attraction to their area. However, I knew from experience that being a pastor is a huge thing to ask of anyone. At that point in my life, I was not looking to make such an all-consuming commitment. I would be lying if I told you that I was excited about the prospect of serving as a pastor again.

 

However, no matter how I spun it in my mind, I could not escape the reality that saying no to the folks in N. Loup would essentially be saying no to God. How could I say no to God? The sacrifice of being a pastor is nothing compared to the sacrifice of laying down One’s life on a cross of agonizing pain, shame, and derision.

 

So I said yes to a new beginning, albeit with hesitation.I certainly wasn’t John Wayne, skillfully riding into town on a gorgeous steed to save the day. I was Don Knotts, chinless and deer-in-the-headlights as I drove my Japanese econobox into the heartland of America. I had no idea how God would help this West Coast boy adjust to life in the Corn Belt. The closest Starbucks was 50 miles away!

 

One of the first things I noticed about N. Loup was its people. They welcomed me to their community with open arms. It wasn’t just the church members who were happy to see me. It was pretty much the entire town. Over the last three years, God has been working powerfully in my life through these precious people. The hospitality, acceptance, and love they have showered upon me have pretty much made culture shock a non-issue for me. God has provided me with a people, and through these people, He has richly met my needs. He has proven Himself faithful many times over.

 

God has also provided me with a place. Central Nebraska is an amazingly gorgeous area to live. Contrary to the rumors, it’s not as flat as a pancake. There are peaks and valleys, and the big sky effect produces some of the most stunning sunrises and sunsets I have ever seen, anywhere. Every day God greets us with a fresh canvas of natural beauty, reminding us that He’s right here, right now. The roads and scenery here are perfect for riding motorcycles, one of my all-time favorite activities. I can enjoy riding bikes in my new place, just as I did in my old place. Having such a phenomenal place to call home has made my transition less of a burden and more of a joy.

 

Finally, God has provided me with a purpose. Though I opened this new chapter in my life with trepidation, I am currently working my way through this chapter with affirmation and confirmation. Over and over again I feel the awesome privilege of being in gospel ministry. Yes, there are facets of ministry that are draining and disappointing, but there are other facets that take my breath away with an almost giddy sense of joy. I have been given a purpose that gets me up in the morning: the incredible privilege of representing to this community the One who created each of us and everything we see around us. I did not earn this purpose by any action or attitude on my part. God gives this purpose to each of His children. We are all ambassadors of Jesus Christ, sharing with others the astounding truth that they can be reconciled to God. Though we cannot fully fathom this reality, in Jesus Christ we have become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

 

Over the last three years, as I’ve embarked on this new course in my life, I’ve been experiencing a deeper understanding that life is about much more than who I am and what I do. I have the privilege, the honor, the joy of being connected to God, to His people, and to what He is doing in and through His people.

 

In their song “Closing Time,” Semisonic sings, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Whatever beginning you’re currently ending, I wholeheartedly believe that our faithful Lord will walk with you into your new beginning. He will provide you with a people, a place, and a purpose. Our God loves us and never leaves us.

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