Weekly Reflection (NEW!)
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
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Please read Genesis Chapter 12 in your Bibles.
My wife and I were traveling back from Orlando about two weeks ago. We were in South Georgia on Interstate 75 when a pick-up truck loaded with someone’s earthly possessions passed us. I noted the contents of the truck as it went by. There were boxes, chairs, a kitchen table and up near the cab on the passenger side there was a wire birdcage like the kind used for parakeets. It caught my eye. It was laying on its side and thrown on top of everything like it had been almost forgotten. The little bird swing thrashed back and forth wildly in the wind.
I thought of everyone who was moving in the next two weeks especially all of you students. Think of all that you had to go through to get here: applications, visits, packing, traveling. That’s just the logistical stuff. Did you stop to think how you were leaving your old life behind? For many of you this may be the first time you have been able to spread your wings without the safety net of family. God has, however, called you to this place and a new life even as God called Abraham and Sarah. It must have been scary and worried- filled to get up and go, but they followed God’s call and new possibilities opened before them even miraculous ones.
When I first started preaching, I used a manuscript and “borrowed” material from sermon helps. I wasn’t very good. I often stumbled over the words and felt that I wasn’t connecting with the congregation. Gradually, I took short flights into breaking free from the words on the page. Then I took the solo flight of leaving the manuscript completely behind. I believe that God called me to preach in this way. God also gave me the strength to get up in front of people with no safety net of a manuscript in front of me. It was terrifying, but from this I have grown not only as a preacher but as a person as well. I have more confidence, and I trust my own creative voice.
In your life God calls you to leave that birdcage behind. Spread your wings and fly! Listen for God’s call in meeting people different from you, taking risks that lead to intellectual, emotional, or spiritual growth, and being open to all the good that life has to offer. Like Abraham and his “misunderstanding” with Pharaoh, there will be times when you fail to do God’s will or discern God’s call. Don’t let that spook you into flying back into a birdcage and slamming the door. God is with you. God wants you to soar and grow in life.