Wednesday, September 30, 2009
All I Had Anyway
A cool Autumn week, lows in the 50s, Southeners all over the place acting like they can inhale once again, invigorated by cooler temps. Not me honey, dragging out a sweatshirt isn't my idea of fun. I prefer to swelter.
Listening all day to Dr. David C. Cooper's downloads, his sermon series of Finishing the Race You Started, took me back to when I first began this journey. He was just David then, not a PhD, a very young guy undertaking a huge job, that of a debt-ridden church with just a few folks meeting in a metal Butler building, getting paid $50 a month.
A couple of years later, early 1980s, I ambled in, sick of an empty life, the one I'd chosen after rebelling at being a Methodist Preacher's kid. Not terribly rebellious, as I was still a grade grubber, getting through my Master's Degree program at Emory, trudging through the Specialist in Instructional Technology at UGA plan, searching for meaning and more goals, very optimistic and ready for a rumble I thought.
David's absolute brilliance and comprehension of the Bible drew me in immediately, a very willing pupil.
Some ten years or so passed quickly, David heard the call to go to Mt. Paran, leaving an entire congregation, that had grown immensely, bereft. Because we knew he'd been called, it was hard to argue, but it was difficult to endure. I heard him, through my Ipod yesterday, talking about those amazing years in Athens, his sweet memories and the challenges,and I practically sobbed in my rose garden where I was working. I never cried over a man the way I cried when he left.
He talked about how he had a hard act to follow there at Mt Paran, and generally the next person gets chewed up, but it didn't happen to him because he was called. It did happen to his replacement back in Athens though.
Because he was called...I ruminated on that, certain I've been called as well, and about finishing my race.
Three sermons later, several more to go today, and I'm getting back my spark. But man oh man, do I miss the person I used to be. I still miss David as my pastor, but know I'm very blessed also with Pastor Tony nowadays. Sarah's called him 'her David,' possibly the highest compliment ever. She and I also had the added, solid benefit, nearly lifelong, of Pastor Tracy's care and involvement.
David was such a mentor to me, such an influence and so anointed that I took notes and attended three services a week because back then we had Sunday night as well.
I eventually found myself in the early nineties with all my security gone, suddenly a single mom with a dozen children, my pastor gone, lost the house, and moved on the best I could.
Now certainly stronger, banged up, experienced and jaded, but still following after God in spite of it all. I suppose my faith was tested, no I know it was, and when it all shook out, it was pretty much all I had anyway. Still is all I have and it's all I need. Am I a slow learner or what?
Two soccer games last night and two wins, Scotty made a really nice set-up that led to the winning goal in his game in the last second of the game. An older lady next to me told me, "I hope you'll keep up that much enthusiasm some day when you have grandchildren," as I'd been a whooping and a hollering.
"Oh, really?" I replied, glad for a minute that I wasn't automatically pegged as a granny. I should've hugged her and thanked her.
Travis had put seven pizzas in the van and as I loaded everyone up and they began stuffing their faces, this after a large supper some four hours ago, plus the 258 pounds of bananas we'd been given, no argument going to bed as they were all full, exhausted and satisfied with the soccer game turnouts last night.
Another one for the books, and a big thank you to Travis, Miss Kimberly's husband, for the awesome, unexpected treat.
Court this morning, mission accomplished, now I gotta get to the phone and argue out Plan C...