Our 30 Day Dare got off to a resounding start, quite literally! Linda and I arrived in lots of time to do some set up and get some water boiling. Since we moved out of our now demolished, home on Sewell Street I must haul and remember a lot of things. This Tuesday I arrived (after a couple of false starts) with a car load of stuff and the right key, but as I stared at the beeping alarm system, I drew a blank. None of the codes I punched in worked. The shrill alarm sounded and eventually the police arrived. After several phone calls (thank God I remembered my phone) I reached Wendy who reminded me of the code. I had a great chat with the policeman who regularly patrols this area. As I punched in the proper code the deafening siren stopped (though in went on for a while inside my head). I found myself chuckling as I had that thought about a “resounding start’. I went on to think “If this is the worst thing to happen tonight, Lord, then we’ve got it made!”
I set up and tested the technology and it worked well. Two of the folks who attended have access to the ‘in house’ sound and projection, so next week we will have an even better sensory experience.
Volunteers came to help set up and serve. Folks helped provide rides for those who needed it and eventually 22 of us gathered for a ‘family’ meal together. Conversation and laughter were heard throughout the room.
After our ice cream sundaes folks settled in and gave attention to the short video which introduced the story of the “Lost Son”. The teaching and testimonies centred on an awakening to “Longing” (There must be more to life than this!). The folks in the video looked like us. The presentation was relatively short (10 -12 minutes). Afterward I gave the homework. We were challenged to pray “God if you are real make yourself real to me. Awaken in me the ability to see that you are what is missing in my life.” Each day for the rest of March, and to reflect daily on, if and how God is answering. The rest of the challenge is to join our family supper each Tuesday. This is simple stuff but I have learned, over the years, that God uses simple things. I note this especially when I gaze in mirror.
We were really blessed when our friends at Christ Church Penfield, donated funds toward covering costs for the meals. My son’s mother-in-law graciously offered to cook the sauce for next week. I was sharing with my good friend Donnie that I did not need to go to the gym that day because I had used an equivalent amount of energy scrubbing the pan in which I had cooked our sauce. He scolded me saying I should have let him do that!
Some friends I have been working with for years and some of their friends came. Some leaders in local churches came as well and I hope this will help us to offer similar programs in the future. I did receive some ‘regrets’ from folks who couldn’t make it the first night. I hope there may be more next week but next week will have to be the cut off point for new participants, though I hope church leaders will continue to pop in. I see possibilities for using this program as a guide for a church renewal retreat.
All of this is to say “Prayers have been answered.” Thanks to those who prayed and please keep it up. Like Odysseus we only want to hear the Siren’s call but once. We do however long to hear the Father’s voice calling us home.