Sunday, February 18, 2007

Man’s Lows, God’s Highs

Have you ever been in a situation where you are so frustrated, so angry that when you open your mouth, no words come out? Have you ever found yourself in a place where you feel so free it’s like your feet want to lift off the ground? Welcome to my day.

Today, of course, is Sunday. Sunday means that I’m in Nadi in the morning and Lautoka in the evening. It also marks one week since the very dramatic confrontation last week, and the first time that I have seen Mary since that time. A week to cool off will often give both parties the ability to look at the situation rationally and hash out a solution that is reasonable for everyone. I wish I could say that this is exactly what occurred this morning, that everything is now ok. I can’t.

I talked to Mary ahead of the service; begin with the mandatory small talk, ignoring the dark storm cloud over the situation. When it passed, I brought up what happened the previous week, and how it really had offended me. Red Alert! Red Alert! Everyone to their battle stations! The problem was not between her and I, I was told, but I should talk to Ken about it. When I asked her about the ‘poking,’ she told me flat out she did not remember what I was referring to, and that Ken would have a stern talking to after the service, because they were both appalled at my behavior from the previous week.

I came back to my room and took a few minutes to cool off myself so I could enter the service with a spirit of worship, and not anger. Ken never talked to me.

The evening, however, was a world apart. I preached in Lautoka, and from the moment I entered the service, God’s presence could be felt. There was a free, unsquelched atmosphere over the church, and it shone through their worship and sharing. It was like diving into a warm pool after hours of running, both soothing and refreshing. It was fun… I forgot that church can be fun. I forgot that church should be fun.

When it came time to preach, I began with my testimony, and then used a revised version of last weeks sermon in Nadi. They were both appreciative and responsive to my message, and I left the church feeling valued and uplifted. If only I could be of more help to a church like this, who have been without a pastor for a very long time. As I said to Meriam after the service, this is the place where my heart and passion begin to poke through; a place where I could see myself.

I drove Jong’s CRV back from Lautoka, which is an adventure in itself! Remember to drive on the LEFT side of the road, and swerve to avoid the potholes… you can lose a wheel in them. Have no fear, I made it safely back!

And then I killed a cockroach that was at least an inch and a half long in my room. *shudder*

Ministry has its ups and downs, but as I preached tonight… it only requires that you be willing. I’m where God wants me to be, and I am willing to do and say as He wants me to, regardless of the cost.

No comments: