I don't know what I was expecting but it didn't really start off too well because I couldn't find the Starbucks and when I did there were TWO Starbucks about 50 yards apart. But when I got there I settled in for a conversation. I was struck with the grace-fullness of our time together.
It's not that he had keen insight into leadership or the church. Though he did have key insight into himself. I was taken with his honesty about who he was, what his motivations were and his aspirations. And then I was really moved by his real desire to be real. He wants to be used by God fully in the place where he is... not in a place where he will be one day or where he thinks he wants to be... just right where he is now. His commitment to his congregation was inspiring and I left know that what Jesus said about the truth setting you free had set this pastor free.
I then began to muse about my own ministry and COTHA. I have often said that I am blessed to be here but I'm not sure I've ever felt more that way than I did this morning. It is at COTHA that I am growing as a disciple... it is at COTHA that I am seeing lives transformed and hope discovered. I am thankful for that. It is too easy to get caught up in denominational politics, to wring one's hands over the way things used to be or one day will be, but it seems to me that is wasted energy. We are called to be in the moment. I felt that this morning. As I spent time in that moment with my new friend, I encountered the Truth. And as I drove back to COTHA my mind went many different places at once. It went back in time, forward in time and then felt the blessing of being in this time with all of you. These are wonderful times that we are in and I recommitted myself this morning to be as fully present in today... this day... as God will allow me.
You might read this days after I have written it. But whenever you do, enjoy today. Have a blessed day and know that I as the Lead Pastor at COTHA am seeking to be fully present to God on this day. And there is a great chance that I am being set free to feel the fullness of life that God desires for me.
I am thankful for all the challenges of my past, the failures, the triumphs, all of it. But I am blessed beyond comprehension to be here with you now... and to be so totally clear that today is the day that God is in... I want to be there.. with Him.