Why did that have to change? It was so good, the way it was.
I had a very interesting day yesterday. It started off in a rather rough way as I sat through a presentation on fundraising for ministry. It left me asking a simple question – this has to change somehow.
My oldest son than called me in a very excited voice to tell me that next week, her class was going to try something new for the entire week. She said that her teacher said that things were going to be different so come prepared. Maris is so excited about the change that she can’t wait for Friday.
Do you remember how excited you and I were about change?
Do you remember that first computer that you worked on in school? The Apple Iic with the green monitor that could promised one day to do more than just program it to write your name 10 times on the green screen. A few days ago, Apple released a new laptop that can fit into a manilla envelope. Change is good here.
Do you remember that first cell phone that you had? The one that I had couldn’t fit in my jeans pocket or even fit in the glove box that I have in the car now. The cell phone promised to make our lives easier and now as I feel my Blackberry vibrating my pocket, I am more connected then ever around the world. Change seems to be good here.
Do you remember how you hoped that your home church growing up would sing those choruses that were in the folder because they just had a good sound to them? Do you remember that? Do you remember the overhead projector which gave way to the projector and now to the LCD screen? Change seems o’k here.
Well, last night I went into a familiar department store to pick up something that we don’t have in Canada so a lot of times on these trips, I have a little list of stuff that I always need to pick up. So, I went to pick it up and it wasn’t there.
I wasted time looking back and forth at the place that I can always find it at and it wasn’t there. I rechecked and re-traced my steps continually to make sure that I didn’t just over-look it. It was moved or something and I was getting frustrated. Finally, in my frustration, I asked a store clerk where it was and she uttered these potent words – “we moved it and changed the location because it makes more sense to have it over here.”
Now, before you take this the wrong way and jump to your own conclusions, I simply want to challenge you with something that I was confronted with in the car as I sat there debriefing my minor frustration.
My son is so excited about change because change to her usually means a couple of things. It means that it is new endeavor and adventure and it also usually means that something better will come out from it.
So, here’s the question – where you are faced with change in life, how do you respond? Do you respond (like that guy over there in your church) who doesn’t even give change a try or do you respond like a child who just thinks that the adventure and discovery along the journey is worth the change itself.
This has been a full week for me. I had the privilege of spending a few days in Panama with my wife and some good friends – Stan from Detroit and William Shellm from Huston. It was really a great time of ministry as well as some deep personal reflection time. I will share my thoughts in a later blog this week as I work to process the collection of thoughts that I have running around in my mind. On Friday AM, our group boarded a plane to Houston from Managua.
It was there that I said a good-bye to my wife as she went back to Boston and I was off to Indianapolis to facilitate an Enroute learning experience at a long time Sonlife friend named Jack Brown. It was great to connect with Jack on Friday night at Yellow Friday’s. Here’s the thing about Jack – He has been doing ministry (really well) for over 20 years but he still wants to learn.
There is so many people that I come in contact (including myself) where you feel like you have arrived and have nothing to learn, that isn’t Jack. Thanks for modeling that to me Jack – On Saturday at the Enroute, it was great to connect with Jack’s group as well as a group from New York. These guys came to Enroute driving almost 2 hours to learn and then turn around at 4pm and drive 2 hours back to hold a volunteer appreciation dessert night. Now, that is dedication (or maybe just bad planning — I couldn’t resist Stan and Matt) Here’s what God impressed on my heart from Saturday’s Enroute – we as youth leaders can NOT give away what we don’t have. So often, we try really hard to do that but we just call our students to something that isn’t in our life already.
It was a great reminder that I need to be striving to be more like Stant before I ask students to join in the journey.
So, here’s the question – What are you trying to give away that you haven’t been working on in your own life? Commit to working on it this week – I am praying for you!
One of my good ministry friends is Sidney Sulley. Sidney is one of the most consistent people that I have had in my life and someone who I respect deeply for his ministry wisdom and friendship. Last year, Sidney and his family – Kristie (wife), Darcy, Sonya, and Shelly adopted a child (Abby) from China.
God is not done with them and adoption yet. They are in the process (about a year away) from adopting two more children from Ethiopia. Kristie (their oldest daughter – aged 14) sent me this email. If you are looking for a way to partner with someone this Christmas, consider Kristie’s request.
This is Kristie Sulley, and I am writing to you about a school project I am currently working on. My topic is orphans and adoption and for my action step I am selling items on cafepress.com. The money that I make will go towards our family adoption of two children from Ethiopia as well as an orphanage in Ethiopia. I encourage you to look over the items in my store and help support this worthy cause. I created the logo myself on my computer at school.
The website is Kristie’s store.
In our Enroute training seminar, we talk alot about students wanting to give their life away to something to make a difference. Here is one example of Kristie doing what she can to make a difference in the world that she views with her own eyes.