My beautiful red jeep is patiently waiting in a small parking lot off of Chesterfield Parkway and Olive Blvd in St. Louis. A water pump, some hoses and $712 later, she’s ready to come home. I’ll be heading up Wednesday afternoon to pick her up – an expensive birthday present for moi! 🙂 I’ve missed her and the freedom that having a vehicle provides. But family and friends have been extremely gracious and helpful to get me to the places I’ve needed to go.
I’ve been at Windermere the past two days for a pastor’s conference on new homiletics (preaching). We discussed some new movements in the art of preaching and it was very informative. It was also a wonderful time to fellowship with other pastors and individuals from throughout the state. I was able to reconnect with several individuals which was a blessing. I also received an invitation to preach at a church outside Columbia, MO, in October which I’m excited about.
Upon arriving home, I looked through the pile of mail waiting for me from Monday and Tuesday and was humbled and moved to find four birthday cards waiting for me. There are times when you remember to feel gratitude for people in your life and the relationships you have with them. I’m very blessed to have great friends that put up with me. I pray that I never take that for granted and that I can be that same friend for them.
Tonight was C-Group at my home. Each Tuesday night about 12 – 15 high school youth invade my basement for Bible study. I love it. They started last week but I was gone on vacation and Preston served as host at my home. So, it was wonderful to greet them this week and to be reunited with them. They are like a small family, an intimate church that gathers each week to engage the Word and experience community.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking the past few days regarding some future events in my life. Not in a control kind of way but rather a result of resting in God with faith that God is in control and able to guide my life if I will allow Him to. I’ve been more intent the past week of beginning my day with prayers that God will direct me that day and allow me to faithfully follow His lead without getting ahead of Him. With this new, intentional discipline, I’ve found myself at peace in two areas of my life and future that I’ve been antsy on. What is amazing to me is to find continual confirmations that present themselves without my manipulation that give me peace and assurance about God’s hand in my life and future. It is a very real reminder of something I read a few months ago by Kate Goodell: "But it’s when we put our unabashed faith in He who formed us that we let our obedience to God lead the way. God wants to bless us beyond what we can every fathom, but only when we put our faith in Him and lose our will to get it all figured out by ourselves does His plan begin to unfold." I’ve really struggled over the past few years with trying to understand just how much and to what degree God interacts/intervenes in our choices and world. A struggle with the dance of free will and divine direction. Faith has never been an easy thing for me. I have an inquisitive mind and I like solid reasoning. But I crave childlike faith. I hunger to be at a place where I have enough faith in God that I can live by faith and not feel like I’m copping out or taking the easy way. In all truth, true faith is not the easy way. It is the more challenging way . . . and the more rewarding way. Lately, I’ve experienced the great blessing and beauty of daily, faith-filled living. Sure, I still slip up and catch myself not trusting but I also have so many reminders just in these past few days of what blessings fill your life when you truly give up control of your day and seek God’s will and direction for your life.
I have a fresh peace and confirmed understanding about where I believe I’m heading in the next few years – in both personal and professional matters. I don’t know all the details of the days between now and then but I have a big picture vision that appears to be of God. I’m not focusing on that. Instead I’m giving God my faith and trust one day at a time and keeping my eyes directed to Him because every moment matters. Every day matters. Everything I do and experience today is a part of where I’ll be and what I’ll experience in the future. I can’t skip ahead or I’ll miss the things that are necessary to make that future a reality. Every day is a necessary day in the journey.
The simple truth is this: God is faithful. God is trust-worthy. Father knows best.