“And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes
Clear your heart
Cut the cord...”
- From Human by The Killers
Ten years ago, this was the lyric that I carried all the way through the process of leaving a job I loved in Queen’s University Chaplaincy to go back into parish ministry at Fitzroy Presbyterian Church.
For me, the invitation to consider becoming the minister at Fitzroy was a huge honour and I had to think about it but I had never considered going back into Church life. Fitzroy’s potential excited me but I was nervous every time I caught sight of that open door.
Being a Presbyterian process, it took eight months between the initial phone call to think about it and to actually being installed as minister. Throughout that wait I sang over and over again this spiritual wisdom of Brandon Flowers.
I had to close my eyes and seek God in ways I had never done. Prayer, connecting with God, was vital. If I was going to take the risk that this would be for me and my family, I needed to find time to talk it over with God and to listen. I would need to be sure that the fit was right and that I was taking the next step in my following of Jesus.
Next up I had to clear my heart in readiness for a spiritual change, the way we cleared our house for the physical move. I needed to take all the selfish ideas of my own which might have been the selfishness for safety or the selfishness of being flattered that Fitzroy were interested and what a prestigious thing to be their minister. The heart needed cleared of me, to be given the holy space that might allow God to fill that heart with what was good.
In the end, after all was weighed up and without any doubt in my heart and mind that God was calling us to go... we had to cut the cord!
This last step is the trickiest of all. It takes courage. It means leaving where all is safe and comfortable and jumping with faith and trust into the new world that beckons. To move on means not looking back. It is done and I am thankful to these words as the soundtrack to the entire process. Like Paul in Philippians, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Perhaps you are in one of life's tricky spots. A big decision. An open door beckons but... I think The Killers are suggesting we take a deep breath, then gather up all of the courage we can muster and then... a step of faith... cut the cord!