Full Circle

Full Circle

I watched a movie, entitled “Circle”–a story about how the internet has taken over our lives. As I watched that movie, I thought of how my life has come in a full circle these past months.

Yesterday my dissertation was sent to  the publisher entitled, Cooking with the Fallen One’s. In the past year as I have worked on it, I have looked at my life and ministry. I ran across a quote by Mark Twain which describes the experience of the past months, and the way I view ministry:

“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.”
Mark Twain

The past few days this paper has been the center of my world–unimportant to any one else–yet  just as important as the king losing his crown. That for me sums up my ministry–treating each person as if what they are experiencing or struggling with is as important, as an event in the life of a king or president. I remember a few years ago a fifteen year old friend called me crying over losing his girlfriend, and I listened for an hour. After I hung up my intern that summer said, “That was a waste of your time, you have more important things to do, than listening to a  kid and his love life”, and I replied that for that young guy that was the most important situation in the world for him, and so it was for me, for he was the most important person in the world to me in those moments.  And in writing this paper I renewed my commitment to personal ministry–one on one and personal contact. We have moved away from personal interaction through social media, email, Facebook, etc, and in so doing we have destroyed our personal connections–the connections that in our struggle together bring us wholeness. Social media in all its forms  is useful, but the face to face, the personal contact of listening, looking at each other in the eye brings us true freedom.

Sending the paper to the publisher signified for me the end of an era–I will never get another degree. I will never be formally in school again. It is sad, because I have always loved going to school.  I will take courses occasionally, but I have come full circle.

I have come full circle in the reality is that all any of us have is the grace of God.   A friend commented I seemed more free, and I am, for I what I have come to understand in my experience at John Knox Seminary is that we are all sinners, and that the grace of God, in the death and resurrection of Jesus frees us. Frees us to live in his grace, and knowing that we are simply called to aim for the target, and ultimately all will be well. As my professor J. Linebaugh commented, “There will be a great therapy session at the end of time, and God will be our therapist,” which means we should love each other and let God take care of the rest.

Fr. River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min. candidate, D.S.T.

P.O. Box 642656

San Francisco, CA 94164




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