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Wit and Wisdom of Gateway Church Athens GA

As we begin our new church life … so too a new blog!

There was a time in my Christian faith when my goals were lofty and my confidence was high because I KNEW what God was up to and I KNEW He was going to use me to accomplish great things. I KNEW it. Boy, what was I thinking!

I spoke recently with a good friend in Tulsa and asked him this question:

If you were in a Sunday School class with a young couple just married and full of Christian zeal, what one thing would you tell them that you KNEW when you were their age that has changed with your advancing years (he’s a couple of years older than me)?

Jim is a wise man and has been through many wars. He is a veteran whose wisdom I highly prize. His answer was clear and precise. “I don’t have as many answers or responsibilities as I used to have.” Translation: He doesn’t know it all and he is no longer taking responsibility for things that are really none of his business anyway. David says he doesn’t bother himself with things too great for him.

Ps 131:1 O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.

I have a confession to make. I’ve committed the sin of worry. Worry is really getting involved in things you have no business being involved in. I’ve worried about oh so many things. I’ve worried about work. If I don’t get the crisis of the moment solved, will I get fired? Will I get a bad review? If I get fired, what will I do? What would I say to Julia? What about Gateway? What have I not done to help us grow? What about my internal failings? What will I do if something happens to Julia? I’ll be alone. What then? What about this and what about that and is God mad at me because I didn’t do this or because I did do that. What will the boss think and so forth and so on. I stand before you and confess this mess right now. I’m embarrassed because I’ve not operated in the very venue I encourage people to operate in. I want to operate in faith. I want to be what God wants me to be. I want to be helpful to Gateway. I just can’t help anyone while operating in fear. (None of you can either!)

God’s not mad though. That’s the good news here. He’s not mad at me. Actually I think we are both somewhat relieved because it is finally dawning on my lightening quick mind that I don’t have answers to most of the questions I have and in many cases pursuing some of the answers is a waste of time. God knew it. Julia knew it. Andy seems to be the late bloomer here. Again though, that’s not a bad thing. I am learning.

I experienced a real jolt of faith today. Mison Latina and the Hispanic community in our area have been devastated with the new immigration law passed last week. I spoke with Efrain and Haydée and they explained to me how it has affected Hispanic congregations. I’ve been thinking and praying for them. I love them so dearly and want to help them so much. I worry about them, all of them. (Do you see a pattern here?). Well I told Haydée that I wanted to come over Sunday and worship with them. She readily agreed and I made plans to go. Well, I just got a sense that I needed to ask Roque to go with me. So we headed over to worship with them. Of course, I KNEW the Lord was going to use me and my superior knowledge of three Spanish words to speak some words of encouragement that would uplift everyone. Boy, what was I thinking?

During the singing, Roque leaned over and told me that he felt the Lord gave him something to share with them. I told Efrain and when Roque got up and started to speak, I watched the congregation. They were captured by his testimony. I watched as they kept their eyes glued to every word he spoke. Some of my good friends there were wiping tears from their eyes. They nodded their heads in approval. I was getting nervous about the time. Then the Lord quickened to me to cool my jets and let him be. It was obvious Roque was the reason we were there, not Andy.

Oh Lord: PLEASE forgive me for my arrogance and pride. Thank you for men of wisdom and experience like Roque. His simple act of obedience brought words of encouragement to a group of people that so desperately needed it. Thank you Lord.


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