(written June 4, 2011)

So this past Saturday, I decided to take a look through some letters that members of St. John’s UMC wrote me last September before embarking on this adventure. Then I found more letters sent by various family, friends and supporters during my time here so far. After reading and contemplating this words of encouragement and support, I was humbled at the myriad of good advice and blessings!

Here are some of their words of wisdom:

“Let God be God”                                   “Listen for God’s Direction”

“Find your ministry in life and DO it!”          “Be safe!’

“You are:
God’s servant                              “Remember who you’re there for
In God’s place                                   and what you’re doing.”
In God’s time
For God’s purpose.”

“Have fun!”                                        “Don’t screw this up!” (thanks Will!)

They actually coincide well with my current reading (which happens to be one of Dr. Howell’s books, Saints, Misfits and Martyrs.) Reading about different saints, I’ve been confronted with the charge once again to seek a humble life. I heard a great riddle about humility. “Those that say they have it…usually don’t! And those that claim they don’t have it…usually do!”

I received my own special piece of humble pie on last Saturday morning during one of our church “work days.” We were placing blocks to form a staircase on the side of the church and, several times, someone interrupted my work to show me what I was doing wrong. And then, they finished my work. At first, I was becoming quite frustrated because I felt quite able to do the work since I’ve been on a number of mission trips building and repairing homes. And (some of them) their finished product looked just like my previously laid blocks…just done in a different way.

But then I began to think a little deeper as to why I was becoming so frustrated. Why did I strive so hard for ME to be the one to build it? Was I building it for God or for myself? What’s more important: that I finish a part of the church or that the church gets completed? My eyes were quickly opened and I became more compliant with the numerous interruptions that followed with my work. And if you think about it, isn’t the church supposed to be more focused on community and fellowship than individuality and personal triumph? The accomplishment of God’s church being built (by the people of God TOGETHER) is much more important than my own accomplishments. Let God be God. Remember who you’re there for and what you’re doing. Listen for God’s direction. Don’t screw up… but when you do (because it will happen) God’s grace and forgiveness are right there to pick up back up. Be safe! Have fun!

You, [insert your name here], are:
God’s servant
In God’s place
In God’s time
For God’s purpose.

Find your ministry in life
[whether Tanzania or your workplace, with children or the elderly,
serving friends and also complete strangers…but all done through God’s love]
… and DO it! 

(Thank you St. John’s UMC, friends and family, and others that have been praying for me. May we ALL live up to your words of wisdom!)