Between being away from the office on vacation a few days over the past two weeks and attending a memorial service last week, there's been plenty of time to reflect on what our senior pastor calls the "dash" in life.
That's the dash between the year you are born and the year you die.
Sometimes in life you get the chance to hit the reset button, find out what really matters in this dash of life.
I have that opportunity.
For nearly two years I have been the special sections editor/senior writer for the Daily Sun News. I've appreciated the opportunity to learn while working with the DSN team to continue the paper's award-winning tradition in specialty publications.
Effective next Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009, I will step down from the management title and return to being a reporter.
The reason is that my responsibilities at my "other" job, associate pastor, have increased to the point that I need to be a regular 40-hour a week employee at the paper instead of the longer and more unpredictable hours of a management position.
That will provide some help with time management and allow me some flexibility as our church's ministries grow.
This is a decision that's been months in the making and actually stems from a choice I made during the summer of 2008 when a larger newspaper and paycheck nearly lured me to eastern Washington.
I made the decision to stay put because of the blessings God provided in growing our church's children's ministry. I couldn't see saying no to an active ministry just so I could work at a larger newspaper.
Seeing God at work firsthand in this ministry since then makes me continually thankful for the decision to stay.
Didn't know it at the time, but that choice more than a year ago led me on this path towards more ministry involvement.
It seems appropriate that this is happening during a time of transition, as my 50th birthday is next Thursday, Sept. 3.
As if I needed another reminder of my mortality, I cringed a little bit the other day when hearing Michael Jackson - who died at 50 - will be buried on my 50th birthday.
We know the dash in Michael Jackson's life, both literally (1958-2009) and figuratively.
Your dash and my dash are still unfinished, fortunately.
The past months have been important to me as a reminder to live with urgency and focus on priorities, a call to live the dash.