It has been one of those weeks – out of the house early and not home until late. I felt like I hardly spent any time with my lovely, understanding wife. She is such a blessing to my life. In our almost 34 years of marriage, there has only been one time that she has asked me to not do something that I was scheduled to do. And that was really a good thing. A group of men from our church was heading to New Orleans for a Promise Keepers event. It has been another one of those weeks, and for some reason, Sonya had a “premonition” that I shouldn’t go. She had never expressed anything like this before, so I listened and stayed home that weekend. I don’t know what might have happened, but I’ve learned to listen to her when she feels that way. A funny thing did happen on that trip. I had booked the hotel rooms in my name, but apparently, before our group got there, someone claimed our rooms. The hotel people said it was me, but I think they just gave them to someone else because I wasn’t there. Anyway, our guys started looking for a room, and of course, in New Orleans, they were asked if they wanted to rent by the hour. It did make for a good laugh. But I digress – again. I love my wife, and in a few short days, we will celebrate 34 years of marriage. I cannot imagine my life without her, and I often wonder why she has put up with me and all the stress that my life and ministry has put her through all these years. But she is the epitome of “in sickness and in health, till death do us part.” Thank you, God, for such a gift.
Back to the week I’ve had. Today is my day off, and we are sitting here with the fireplace going, listening to Casting Crowns, Michael W. Smith, and a host of other great Christian artists, waiting for the snow to fall. I want to just let it all go, and relax, but I cannot. My mind is racing about a number of things that I should/could/need/want to do. I’m thinking about meetings from the past week and meetings heading my way. I’m thinking about possible ministry opportunities for Southside and wondering how God will lead us. I’m praying for so many that are hurting today. And I am thankful for it all. Thankful that God has called me to be a pastor, that He has entrusted me with the most important job in the world. Yes, it is tiring. Sometimes it’s exhausting. It’s stressful, and as one dear friend told me this week, “I don’t know how you put up with all the c**p,” but I cannot imagine doing anything else. Oh, I try to imagine it, but I can’t. It is what I am called to do. It is how God has gifted me. And so as I sit here on my day off thinking about all the things in store for me, I simply say, “Thank you, Jesus, for everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. The blessings and the trials. I love you!”