It's been 7 days since I last posted a musing here. I was on a mission trip but in reality, I was having some heart surgery compliments of God. While I was on a hiatus from this blog, God was creating a hiatus in my life. He was breaking me from the daily grind which tends to stray me from God's will and from my own personal mission statement.
Whether in daily schedules or in unexpected events, I tend to experience an erosion of my faith, my love for others, and my devotion to Jesus. I can sense these areas of spiritual illness and find the best Rx is to allow God to reform me and conform me into the likeness of His Son Jesus. This action of the Almighty usually requires me to be set outside my comfort zone.
For the last seven days, I have been part of a team of people who literally became the hands and feet of Jesus to the Onondaga Indian Nation in upstate New York. As First United Methodist has been providing restorative hope to these people for the last ten years, it is humbling to know of other churches who have been doing likewise. Churches from Williamsport, Harrisburg, Bellefonte and Lewistown are just a few places from where people have journeyed to serve the nation.
Perhaps the greatest work God performs on this pastor's heart is to get him to stop looking in the mirror at himself and begin to appreciate the gifts and talents of others (this is still a growth area for me). It is easy for me to focus on what I can do, on who I am, and how important I am...at least in my own mind. God has a way of bending my ill-formed thoughts and redirect them toward the view from God's throne.
(Butch, carefully staining a log home.)
When I am forced to admit it, my way of living life at times falls far short of God's will. Loving and glorifying God is my first vocation, loving those around follows quickly on the heels of the first, and then knowing and loving who I am finishes the picture.
This morning, I can easily say that my heart had been on a hiatus from God's perfect will and now I am back in a more familiar place. The importance of loving and serving God is once again in first place. I'm a bit more tired this Monday than last but that's okay. The tired muscles remind me of the smiling faces of sisters and brothers of the Onondaga people. Their gratitude for the mission team is a love I shall not soon forget.
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine,
you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40, NIV)