Saturday, December 02, 2006


It has been an curiously interesting week. It began with my final day of service at a church that had lasted 23.6666666 years. If you are curious (I was) that is 8,646 days. And yes, my computerized brain took into consideration leap years. Would it help you to know my service lasted 207,515 hours? Or 12,450,900 minutes? (That 12 was "million" for you who don't do comma's.) How about knowing it totaled 474,054,088 seconds? (That is four hundred seventy four MILLION, fifty four THOUSAND one hundred and eighty eight seconds.) I admit that those hours, minutes and seconds are rougher estimates because I'm not sure what time of the day I started or officially quit. Either way ... long time.

Monday through Thursday was pure bliss. No stress. No meetings. No appointments. Lot's of quiet. Lot's of solitude. Lot's of time alone with God. Lot's of peaceful evenings with my bride.

Of course Thursday night everything blew apart. The key words became ice, snow, cold, skid, tree, branches, falling, duck, ouch and electricity.

Now we are back to bliss. Tomorrow I will attend the church of my choice where nobody knows me and my only obligations are to stay out of the way and to worship. I rather like that idea. Some wonderful friends that have stuck with us for the past 20 years are going to join us as we visit that church. They are driving about 60 miles just to be with us. This couple drove those same miles last week to be with us as we said good-bye to our old church. When God gives you friends like these two you do your best to love them and nurture that friendship. It is a rare and precious thing.

Last Sunday morning the incredible group of teenagers that I was saying "so long" to gave me a gift. The called me to the front of the church and, at the altar, presented me with a new bible. It was signed by dozens of teens and youth workers. That 2 minute experience did more to wreck me than anything has in a long while.

I love those kids. I already miss them so much. And so I have made this commitment between God and I. Between now and the time He leads me to my next ministry assignment I am going to read that bible from cover to cover. Every word. I've already got a good start on this project. And I have issued a challange to those kids. I asked them to consider reading the entire New Testament in that same time frame. I don't suppose I will ever know how many take me up on my offer. But if I were a betting man I would stake a lot on a bunch of them doing it.

I'm wondering what the future holds but I am not dwelling on it. I am dwelling on the verse of scripture that God plopped into my brain early one morning about two weeks ago in Cincinnati. "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Funny thing is, I do not even know what the desires of my heart are. I can only define them this way. I want to be in the center of His will. Even more than that. I want to be in the CENTER of the CENTER of His will. I don't want the dart of my life just to hit the cork of the middle of the dart board ... I want it to hit the dead center of the cork in the middle of the dart board. Nothing else will do.

For now I am content to rest, heal from the physical illness and stress that has been raking me over pretty well for the last few months, love on my family, bounce my new granddaughter on my knee, and seek God in stillness and solitude. He's been showing up. His presence is felt ... is clear ... is tangible.

And it is enough.


Anonymous said...

Enjoy the bliss! I hope you enjoyed your day and had a wonderful worship time with your Lord.