Change Your Path

MyWindow
Today Shirley and I went to Target to pick up some items. As usual, I sit in the car while she flits up and down isles looking for her items and scouting out any new items that just may happen to be on sale. Sitting in the car I do the same thing I do at the beach – People Watch.

People watching is such fun. I see people who think that they must be the queen of something by the way they walk. Others, I want to get out and help them into the store – they can barely make it. Some kids are exited to be going in the store while others must believe they are going to their death. Driving and parking is both a LOL and a WTH? Some people drive through a parking lot like they were in a 45 mile per hour speed zone. Still others are passed by walkers.

Today I noticed one older lady (yes, older than me) who pulled into the parking space close to me. Her daughter was in the passenger seat but did not have room enough to get out of the car. Therefore, the older lady backed out to adjust her parking and pulled back into the parking space in the very same tracks. The daughter looked over at her and for some reason she backs out again… I think she is going to give it one more try but, instead of correcting her path and pulling back in, she goes around behind me to get this big handicapped parking space. I just sat there and smiled. My parking has become very poor. Sometimes I have to back up and pull back in two or three times… but I think I change my tracks a little… I don’t come back in the very same tracks.

I am reminded of the church and how we remain in the same tracks. We think we are changing but we follow the exact same track that has failed before. I wonder what we need to do in order to make sure that change is taking place. Some church people think that if it is not contemporary worship it is not change and will not last. I participate in worship every Sunday morning with Myers Park UMC in Charlotte. They have three services every Sunday (one contemporary and two very traditional). I participate in the 11:00 traditional service. This service is packed every Sunday. Even on this snow day, when the organist is stuck in the ice and snow north of Charlotte, and most people can’t get there, the church is almost full. It is traditional at its best and I do love it so.

I believe what makes this church work so well is that the pastor has been there thirteen years and relationships have been developed and are cherished. It is a relationship that says very clearly: the pastor loves this church, loves these people, wants to be there, and works very hard to offer these people his very, very best… they KNOW it…. They FEEL it. The pastor knows he is loved… he feels it. The staff knows they are loved and supported by the pastor and the congregation… they KNOW it… They FEEL it. I think this is part and parcel of a healthy church, one that allows the Spirit of God to move in and  through the lives of the pastor, staff, congregation, programs and ministries. People actually seek to love, respect and care for one another. I hear so much of private agendas from pastors and people in the congregation which are the downfall of the church family – splitting the church into many different factions. Oh God, I pray that Your Church would come together in love, forgiveness and fellowship.

It is my prayer that more of our churches would experience this kind of presence of the Spirit of God where everyone knows, loves and supports one another in their lives, faith journey and work-a-day world.

I close this blog with what I consider a beautiful and very touching prayer for all of us, especially for those who are servant leaders in the church:

Come, Holy Spirit, I need You, Come

1. Come as a wisdom to children, Come as new sight to the blind,
Come, Lord, as strength to my weakness, Take me: soul, body and mind.

Refrain:
Come, Holy Spirit, I need You, Come, sweet Spirit, I pray;
Come in Your strength and Your power, Come in Your own gentle way.

2. Come as a rest to the weary, Come as a balm for the sore,
Come as a dew to my dryness: Fill me with joy evermore.

Refrain:
Come, Holy Spirit, I need You, Come, sweet Spirit, I pray;
Come in Your strength and Your power, Come in Your own gentle way.

3. Come like a spring in the desert, Come to the withered of soul;O let Your sweet healing power Touch me and make me whole.

Refrain:
Come, Holy Spirit, I need You, Come, sweet Spirit, I pray;
Come in Your strength and Your power, Come in Your own gentle way.

This song is by Bryan Duncan and can be found for 99 cents on iTunes
– Check it out. It will touch your heart  –

Check out my books. I pray they encourage and uplift your spirit


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9 Responses to Change Your Path

  1. Mary Council says:

    You can take something as common and ordinary as a parking lot and make
    it unique, pulling the spiritual in.
    Lv u

  2. April Brown says:

    Hey Steve. I so much agree with everything you said. So many churches are hurting today and need this type of love and fellowship. Miss you and Shirley. Take care.

    • Thanks so much…we miss you guys as well. So sorry to hear about your dad. He was a man of great character. I always enjoyed him and his smile. I know he is missed but is now with your mom. Keep hanging in there.

  3. Betty Bell says:

    Steve, As always, you inspire me with your meaningful thoughts and beautiful words. This is a keeper! Thank you.

  4. Scott says:

    Hey Steve! Love your blog today. Particularly the part about the length of service of the pastor-13 years at Myers Park. I find the way the Methodist want to move pastors every 4 years to be a practice that is often a not very good one. About the time you get to know the pastor well, it seems they are moving on. I find myself becoming even somewhat cynical and not wanting to get too close to any of the pastors because of this practice. I think there needs to be more stability – I don’t mean staleness or close mindedness – but more relationship building as you mention. Often times, 4 years is just not enough in my view. Hope you are doing well!

  5. Mercer, Marilyn F says:

    Steve,

    Mark’s birthday is February first if you could go back to Target and get him a birthday card. Just go back to the same parking place.

    How are you feeling? What about getting together soon? Maybe Wednesday or Thursday night of next week. Check your calendars!

    Marilyn Mercer

    Co-chair English Department

    Co-sponsor NHS

    9th grade English teacher

    Reagan High School

    mmercer@wsfcs.k12.nc.us

    School phone: 703-6776

    ________________________________

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