Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spiritual Perspiration

  I confess, I love watching “House”. I know that she will deny it but, my wife Sarah is who introduced me to it. I’m a real hard sell on new programming, so she got me past my normal firewall. I honestly believe that she liked it then because the main character, Gregory House, MD, reminded her of me. I also think that she doesn’t like it now because the main character, Gregory House, MD, reminds her of me. I’m not sure whether to be flattered or offended. What does that possibly have to do with you, me, us, this blog? There is always that moment, when as a diagnostician, the otherwise self-absorbed doctor has an epiphany. It always seems to occur when he least expects it, but we always know when that is because he “gets that funny look on his face”.
  I know that most people believe that vocational ministers and preachers in particular live from epiphany to epiphany. Oh, that it were true! On behalf of all of the other shamans in the world, “inspiration is 90% perspiration”. I, for one, sweat a lot! But then there is that other 10% (I think mine is more in the 1% category). It does happen and more times than not, it comes when I least expect it. Such was the case recently while I was attending a Church Planting Catalyst Conference at a BWI Hotel. Much of the irony in this is the very fact that I’m not a conference type personality. Sitting all day for consecutive days in meetings is not my idea of fun. Yet, it was in that context that I had not one, but two epiphanies.
  The conference was for denominational employees, at all levels, who are responsible for overseeing the planting of new churches. I was the odd man out (a role that I relish). I was there by invitation because I planted NAC and we have had above average success for our region of the country. It’s not a suit that I wear well, but this is one quarter in which I have a good reputation. Scary thought that normal denominational people hold me in high regard! The conference was an attempt at assisting everyone through a shift in direction and procedure within denominational life who hope to continue receiving a paycheck. There were representatives from the northeast US, Canada and Alaska.
  Before I completely run out of space, let it be noted that I had my epiphanies as a result of seeking God’s mind and will through prayer and the Word. I had already done the simple things and was seeking the higher things, that while listening to others struggle with change, it happened. I’m certain that I didn’t “get that funny look on my face” but it was nonetheless real. Want an epiphany? Try spiritual perspiration. More to be revealed later....