If I gave you a hundred guesses about how I spent last evening, you’d still never get it. The only thing someone might say that would come even close to it could be, “watching the proverbial one-armed paper hanger try to label all the pieces of the NASA space station while a large contingent of scientists simultaneously worked to dismantle it…with all participants desperately hoping that the reassembling of said NASA space station in another location millions of miles away might be easier than the destruction of it.”
See? I told you…Never in a hundred guesses. For that matter, a hundred years might not bring that one to mind.
Me? I was the one-armed paper hanger. I was “given” this honored position because I have a pastoral staff member who has even loftier ideas about my organization skills than I do. (…and I think, that with a little cooperation at some key moments, I could rule the world and do a pretty good job, so that tells you already that there is some serious room for comedy in this scenario. Furthermore, before you ask, YES, the local authorities are aware of the facts that we are both out without keepers on a regular basis and that we know each other. I’m equally certain there is a special task force watching us…now, more than ever.)
The brilliant scientists? About 25 people from my church ranging in age from about 8 to…well, maybe we shouldn’t go there. (smile)
The NASA space station? Well, that was the interior jungle gym of a local fast food restaurant.
Are you feeling all caught up now? I thought not.
Our task was to disassemble said jungle gym equipment and do so in a manner that would allow it to be reassembled at a local church plant with lots of room and limited funds. I definitely know whose idea this was. I’m just not sure what we’re going to do to make them pay for it yet. (Some days there is a very fine line between committed Christians and Christians who should be committed…I’m just sayin’…) (grin)
In truth, I don’t know a lot of the details about how this deal came to be. What I do know is that every person who has ever put together a simple swing set for a child is now praying for all of us…and laughing at us at the very same time. I also know that God blesses those who show up for such missions with an optimism that is beyond your regular old everyday faith.
There was a LOT of laughter, a good deal of hard work, some ‘special engineering’ and some things we don’t even want to think about in the cracks and crevices of this thing. You know, God can use just about anything to bring a message about how much He loves people to them. Some of those people are never going to know the story about how this great option for their children to play on happened. They’re just going to love the fact that their kids are having fun in a safe environment while they learn about Jesus. Some of the people won’t even know or think that much. It may never even cross their minds to wonder about how God used an extremely varied crew to pull off the impossible just to make sure some kids feel at home during a Vacation Bible School or a church picnic.
To tell you the truth, that won’t bother any of us at all. Every person who showed up last night to help with this project was there to love God and love people in a very practical…albeit different!…way. It’s not about trying to always do the grand gesture, sometimes it’s more important to do the crazy thing right in front of you and have fun in the doing of it.
In the interest of full disclosure, the job isn’t completed yet. There’s still work to be done…a LOT of it. It will take some time and, probably, a lot more people than the ones who showed up last night. (Mainly, because we are all determined to be on vacation at the time of reassembly, but who’s paying attention to that right now?!) This, too, has a spiritual application (See, Steph, you were right! I found one! LOL): No one person or group of people can do all of the work that needs to happen for us to tell others about how great our God is and how much He loves them. It will take time and teamwork, determination and a call to duty. Some of it will be hard. Some of it will be hysterically funny. Some of it will seem really impossible and some of it will go unappreciated.
From my perspective, that’s all the more reason to go ahead and do it anyway. I already know how much God loves me. Because of that, I know how important it is that others know, too…even if it means doing crazy things like I did last night…and later this morning…and… (This one may take some time, folks. Pray for us? We’re going to need it.)