Last night I had a very hard time sleeping. My back was hurting even though the sixth floor of the Terrace is supposed to have new mattresses. I am flipping back and forth, sleeping a little and then waking up. You will never guess what was waking me up.
Our room is on the sixth floor and three floors beneath us is the kitchen and dining hall. As I am rolling around in the bed trying my very best to go to sleep… I kept smelling bacon, eggs, sausage and pancakes. Wow, it was so powerful that I could almost taste it. In fact I imagined that it was almost time to get up and go partake of this powerful breakfast.
I fought it as long as I could and finally got up to go to the bathroom – thinking that I needed to be getting ready for breakfast. On my way back from the bathroom I checked my phone for the time. It was 2:15 am. Man, was I ever disappointed. I sure was ready for that breakfast.
The smell of that wonderful breakfast went away immediately but I still couldn’t sleep. It was back to the bathroom at 4:15am, then again at 6:15am. I woke up with a terrible headache and didn’t even go to breakfast. (Don’t laugh… your time is a coming.)
There are many things that keep us awake at night. A friend called last night about a friend of hers who may have committed suicide. We talked a long time about that and how God holds us especially when we are in the darkest pits of life. I am in the midst of a change in my lifestyle and each day here at conference draws me closer to that reality.
Tonight we went to the retirement dinner where 40 pastors are retiring. We were entertained and given an engraved gold watch. We were thanked for combined service of over 1100 years. Tomorrow we walk across the stage and retire.
In the back of my head is not the smell of breakfast but the remembrance of years of service… it is the parade of names, events, good and bad times… Jesus moments that will not let me go… places where Jesus sent me and met me to do His work. I am thankful that God called me to ministry… the good times and the bad… for He has been with me and helped me to be part of Jesus moments with Jesus’ people all the way through. Thank you for being part of my life and ministry.
Dear Lord, over forty years ago you called a reluctant young man to proclaim your word to your people. Thank you for all the people you have sent my way… some to help me and some for me to help. You have been present in all we have become and all the places we have traveled, in and through Jesus. Amen.
Grace and Peace