“How far away”January 15, 2021
“Good Morning Jim, how are you today” was my standard greeting to a man in the first church I served as pastor. I usually knew what type of response this question would receive based on the weather. My friend Jim especially detested the snow that Iowa winters bring. So when the ground was covered white, his replies weren’t glowing and positive. I remember that he would say he was going to strap a snow shovel on the front of his truck and drive straight south. He indicated he would stop only when someone asked him what was stuck on his vehicle. That’s how he knew he would be far enough south to avoid seeing the white stuff again. My guess is for some the ice, snow, and cold have made us pine for warmer climates and sunnier days, too. We think of all the things that might be better if we just made a significant change in our residency.
Dreaming about “what if’s” can have a soothing affect on our soul. Don’t let your desire for something else make you miss the opportunities which are right in front of you. I was reminded of this when several of our Hillcrest people indicated zero desire to move somewhere else when presented with the question, “How far south do you want to move to avoid the ice and snow?” I’m guessing some of us are just overwhelmed by the thought of trying to move from a place we’ve lived in for decades. Or maybe selling and buying real estate isn’t your cup of tea.
There’s also great options for ministry in a place you’ve lived for a long time. Let me encourage you to think strategically and intentionally about where God has placed you. You know and interact with people who have little knowledge of the blessing of serving a great and powerful God. The years spent in relationship with them have built a great foundation for you to encourage them in spiritual pursuits and growth. Although a different address might seem nice this time of year, commit to being effective where God has planted you. And you know what they say about Iowa – if you don’t like the weather, just wait a couple of days and it will change. Let us be busy bring light to the darkness around us.
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