Tuesday, June 28, 2011


The below question was generated via a question from my good friend author, Derek Maul.  The story here was my response.

Do you live into your potentiality as a child of God... 
living as you were created to live? 

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At this past spring's retreat one of our guest speakers had to leave before he thought he had to.   He'd intended on Saturday to do 2 sessions before heading back to see about someone in the hospital, but a lengthy, intense and much needed discussion prevented the second session. 

As we broke from lunch to enjoy some free time, a good friend of mine, one of several clergy in attendance, walked with me passing the clanging of the beginnings of the horse shoe pitching contest.  He mentioned to me how disappointed he was that our presenter, a close and familiar colleague, had not the opportunity to finish up as he'd intended.  My friend explained how because of his knowledge of where his colleague's presentation was most likely going in it's second half, that it was a shame that it wouldn't be presented.  I too had expressed my disappointment and took the opportunity to engage our retreat's other presenter.  I then beckoned for my friend to come join our conversation and asked him to share again what he'd explained to me a few moments earlier.  Our first presenter listened intently.  He was very intrigued and agreed that it would be very unfair to the men gathered to not give them a chance to hear where the presentation should have gone. 

So, our first presenter asked my friend and personal pastor to do as he suggested; finish the presentation out.  Once given the green light to proceed, he asked me for my bible and then began immediately making notations and writing out a brief outline of what he'd speak about.  As my friend came forward he explained how he felt he needed to make sure we understood he wasn't putting words in his colleague's mouth or claiming to be anywhere near the caliber of a speaker, but he felt compelled to try and finish what was started. 

I sat amongst the men and watched my friend speak from the heart and began to smile as a listened.  Then he made a concluding comment that gave me full knowledge that what I'd just experienced and seen, from the time of our initial conversation to this comment, "It would be wonderful if all congregations could all be like you all in this room".  He'd made that statement because of the intense respectful discourse that had transpired earlier in the day and how our weekend was focusing on how we men of the church were beginning to realize the importance of doing something different, to not be afraid of change, to come into the 21st century and be Jesus Followers. 

Creek scene near Northern VA 4-H Ctr., Front Royal
The moment was intense because of some issues my friend had been dealing with.  I saw him exhibit his God given gift of pastoral care in bringing a message, in this case picking up where someone else left off, his energy was such that I'd not seen him that inspired and moved in months. 

I told this story the following Tuesday over the phone to the presenter who'd had to leave early.  He was quiet as I said concluding, "Again, I'm real sorry that you had to leave", to which he quickly answered, "No, no...you don't understand...I was meant to leave.  I just got goosebumps from what you've told me.  Our friend needed that and the Holy Spirit was there to make it happen.  A true God moment!"  So...I must say my friend was the embodiment of living into full potentiality, living as he was created to live.  Living to capacity?  I don't know...I think there's more from where that came from!


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