How I Know I Know What I Know I Know
The lights went out, at church, two weeks ago last night. Here's the deal:
It was Wednesday night, March 10, and I was at the church supper in our annex. During supper, Sam Neugent came over and pestered me about going on his next ministry trip to South America. He's a church planter with E3 Partners, and he was going back to somewhere they'd been, to do some evangelism, as well as discipleship with previous pastor contacts there. Sam said I could go along and give out eyeglasses; they take discarded reading glasses and hand them out to folks, based on a simple test they give.
Side note: the eye chart is actually the "Plan of Salvation". I thought that was pretty neat.
Anyway, Sam said all I'd have to do is walk from the hotel to the bus, from the bus into the clinic, and then I could sit and run that part of the clinic. Wouldn't have to walk much.
Well, I considered it, and hemmed and hawed around a lot and he said well, pray about it and let me know.
Then, as I was about to go across the street to the church and get ready to lead my small-group discipleship class, the lights went out. At the Annex, and across the street at the church.
SO .. no Discipleship class that night. And, since the following week was Spring Break in Alabama, there were no classes scheduled for the following Sunday night .. when I lead a class studying the Baptist Faith and Message .. or the following Wednesday night, when there would be no Church supper.
Peg and I came home, where we had electricity, and settled in for the evening. I contemplated the South America trip .. Sam has been such a good friend for so many years .. and what the message might be from the electricity going off right when it did. I also contemplated the fact that I was really down in the dumps. Really bummed. And I'm not usually that way. But then, after wrestling for a few minutes with that, it finally hit me:
I was down in the dumps because I was going to be out of "discipleship mode" for two weeks!
Suddenly it was crystal clear: teaching is "my deal". It's what God has gifted me for. It's my passion. And when that realization hit me (thanks, Holy Spirit), the "doom & gloom" lifted and I immediately knew why I'd been bummed out, and whether South America was for me.
I sat right down and sent Sam an email, explaining this to him. He wrote right back, and said he understood completely.
So did I.