I hate being late. I think I got this from my mother. The only time I remember her being late for something was at her own interment. The minister turned to me and said “Where are the ashes?” No one in the family had thought to stop by the cemetery office and pick them up. My brother raced down and got them and so she was the last to arrive at her own funeral!
I am late with this blog, though. I even got a call from my son wondering if everything was okay because he hadn’t seen my weekly writings. It has been a hectic week. I had a few extra meeting and a two days of classroom learning added to my week. In addition I had a memorial to plan and a couple of sermons to prepare. Something had to give! In days past it would have probably been sleep that was sacrificed on the altar of busyness but I’m getting to old for that, so I missed my usual blog deadline.
It was a good week, with a wide range of experiences. I had a wonderful time of fellowship with my friends from Christ Church in Penfield, as I preached there and I look forward to a reprise this Sunday. I experienced disappointment when a workshop we had planned for ‘church leaders’, to help them be effective in ministry to those struggling with addiction, failed to draw even one person. We are determined that this is important and feel God’s call to do this so we will be looking for other ways to engage church folk in ministry to this vulnerable and searching segment of our community.
We are in the midst of the workshop we host for those struggling with addictions. Thursday night’s topic was “turning over to God’s care our will and our lives”. This is where ‘the rubber meets the road’. It is at this step that recovery can begin. It is always exciting to see who picks up the challenge of this step and then to witness the dramatic changes that inevitably ensue.
I decided to sign up to audit a course on “The Acts of the Apostles”, this week. In all my studies I had never taken a formal course on this book. I think I learned a lot, though I still have to process much. One personal and powerful take away is that I should make the practice of praying for people normative in my life. In law there is an axiom that extraordinary cases make for bad law. Making laws for the exceptional does a disservice to the ordinary or regular. It is the same with my prayer life. If I only pray for God’s healing for those who are in extraordinary circumstances my expectations and practise become skewed. I develop ‘laws’ for how God works by my experiences only with the most dire of cases.
I am convinced though if I pray regularly for those things that routinely present themselves, that I will be better equipped to pray and more open to God’s direction in the more difficult of circumstances.
Last night (Friday) we held a memorial for Donnie. We had an ‘open mic’ time for folks to share and person after person gave testimony of the big hearted kindness of our dear friend. We are left wondering how God will fill a “Big Donnie” sized hole in our community and in our lives. We were reminded though that we do not mourn as those without hope! It is our wish that this loss draws us ever closer to the Saviour, with whom our friend now resides.