I had lunch yesterday with two women from church. God bless them for not mentioning that I probably looked like a wreck and a half after finishing my last final (I had slept maybe 5 hours in the previous 48.)
Anyways, we were discussing our churches technology plans for 2015. Our web-site is out of date (and that’s an understatement) and in need of some serious TLC to get aligned with our new pastor’s ambitious goals for the new year. These women hit me with some statistics that floored me.
- One of them had been at our church for 25 years!
- It once had 1500 active members
- It now has 300.
That’s right! The fluctuations in membership have been outlandish. One of the woman then told me a story of when she had been heavily involved in international mission trips. After one of them, she was feeling the holy spirit nudge her that her time of traveling on foreign missions was at its end but she ignored it and went on another one. On this next trip, despite knowing everyone and being greeted warmly, she felt disconnected and knew it would be her last.
She then told me that throughout her life she’s learned a lot of things and jumped around a lot but always done so in an attempt to follow God’s plan for her. She then said something that will stick with me: “He’s definitely showed me more don’t than do’s.” When she came back from her last foreign mission trip, she recognized that her ministry work was no longer abroad but local. She recognized that God was no longer calling her to travel far away to do His work but to stay right where she was at a church that she’s been at for 25 years.
I have been praying for a lot of “do’s” lately. “God, show me the way. What do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go?” Despite having seen time and again that if I go after something, God will show me if it’s right or wrong, I just want him to pull back the clouds and point a big old arrow at what my next move should be. Saint Augustine once said “Love God and do whatever you want.” Today I’m praying for the confidence to go boldly in the direction I want and to trust God to send me a “don’t” if it’s the wrong direction!