I was asked last week to write the next blog. I am guessing for people, that blog a lot, this would be plenty of notice, but for me it was a challenge. My service at the church always seems to be “can you have it done yesterday?“ projects. However I could not pass up the chance to share how God has and is always blessing me.
I planned to write about one of my healing experiences. Then last Sunday Eric’s sermon changed everything. I knew God wanted me to write about serving Him and how if I hadn’t tried things once I would have missed so many blessings.
I was raised in church. I remember “helping” my grandfather put chairs away after Sunday service when I was 5-years-old. Only God knew I would spend 20 years and counting moving chairs around in churches for Him 40 years later.
I was saved in my early 20’s but spent many years running from God, because I didn’t believe serving God could be as much fun as a secular life. While running from Him I went to church sometimes. He never stopped pursuing me. I guess I missed Him but not enough to practice being a Christian on more than Sundays.
I built a career in the theme park industry, spending 30 years there, eventually ending in the position of general manager in a 100 year old park in Pennsylvania. My home, wife, and family were still here. My wife would visit me there since I was provided a house with an indoor pool at the a park. Even so I still had many hours of alone time for most of that winter in Pennsylvania. That gave me time to think about Him more.
God’s reckless love wouldn’t let me go, and with no job lined up or knowledge of how I would make a living, I felt that He wanted me to serve Him full-time, at least try to, once. I had no idea how I could do that. I left the theme park during that off-season and returned to Indiana, knowing only that God had something He wanted me to do.
For four years, I worked various tent-making jobs, and at the end of each year the company closed and I needed another job. He always had another one waiting for me.
Despite the frequent changes, I was never late for a bill or missed a payment on anything. I believe now that time was a faith building lesson. During those four years, I was constantly praying that God would place me wherever He wanted me. Finally, half way through the construction process of the Eagle Church building, God blessed me with an opportunity to serve him full-time here when it opened.
After serving at Eagle for a short time, I started feeling that He wanted me to do more than my “work” in the church. One day, the children’s ministry pastor asked me if I would consider serving in the First Grade class. I hesitated, I really had no interest in children’s ministry. He asked me to try it just once to see if I would like it. I praise God that he asked me. 20 years later I am still serving, and I look forward to every chance I have to teach and play with the kids.
I became interested in Missions after hearing Petula Myers and a fellow facility manager speak about their work. I tried going on a mission trip once. I have been supporting or going on missions ever since. When I cannot leave work I help with local missions like Habitat for Humanity, since I tried that once.
I don’t always know where God wants me to serve, but I try everything He sends my way, and in turn He has truly blessed me with these experiences. If I had never said yes to trying things once, how could I have known He would bless me in so many different ways. I have learned serving Him is way more FUN than anything I tried without Him!