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Yogi Berra Says…

48. Yogi Berra Says

There’s a quote (among many) from Yogi Berra that says: If you come to a fork in the road, take it. Doesn’t it make it you smile? And yet, there’s wisdom there. Sometimes you come to a fork in the road and you can obsess about it—which is the best, which way should I go, will my life be different one way or the other. And I think I have tried to make good decisions at those crossroads.

But ultimately it’s good to know that you can “work it” either way—or you can take a third way—or you can branch out where there is no road. My most compelling story about this was the period in my life where I felt I was being called by God to ministry. I talked to a pastor—he discouraged me. I let it go and then a few years later talked to another pastor—she discouraged me.

I served an American Baptist Church for five or six years as a lay pastor and preached every Sunday and relished it. All the time I was in the ministry process in the United Methodist Church, went to Local Pastors School, and in 1998 was appointed to a United Methodist Church as a local pastor.

I still didn’t go to seminary. I did other kinds of courses. I did pastoral training at Blanton-Peale Institute, but ultimately in the year 2000 I retired. The experiences were rich. I loved planning worship. I delighted in preparing sermons (still do when I substitute). But I didn’t totally commit to that fork in the road, and it’s o.k.

It has been eye-opening for me to be a layperson most of my life, and then step over onto the other side of the fence and be a pastor for seven or eight years, and then step back into being a layperson again. It’s been good to have a glimpse of both sides.

If you come to a fork in the road, take it. So says Yogi Berra. And I would add: and “work it.”

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