What a whirlwind the past thirty days have been. We decided to reschedule the trip to September so my brother Dave could go with us (the band is back together!) and while that was a bit of a tough decision it turned out to have God's hand in it. Why?
Well, a few days after we made that decision I got a request for some moonlighting work that I would not have been able to do had we been gone in Idaho. It will pay for the trip and then some. Then, I had a project at the church to do where I built a 4 x 6 foot camera platform because we're now livestreaming our services. Then we had some issues with our fire alarm system that I had to handle (I'm one of the church's Deacons). Oh yeah, and something popped at work (my day job) that needed my attention. So all in all, for me, it was a blessing to have postponed the trip.
But we're going now. I've gone back through all my gear and double-checked that I'm not missing anything. We have the truck rented and hotel reserved in Mountain Home, Idaho where we will be starting Friday morning. After the hectic days I've had, I really, really need this trip.
Yesterday was our first Sunday meeting corporately instead of only virtually. Lots of changes: we've done some painting, have new very bright new lighting to make videoing the service way better, and of course practicing social distancing and masking during the service. I sing on worship team and it was wonderful to be worshiping with those that could come. I don't know what the count was but there was a good crowd given the current health conditions. By my rough unscientific counting we had 85-90% wearing masks which was nice to see - people caring enough to follow the guidelines whether they believe in the virus or not.
It's been a time of reflection for me during the past six months. I can't say that Vicki and I have had a hard time as we kept busy and the virtual services and Wednesday evening Zoom Q&A meetings have been enjoyable. However, as with any crisis this has exposed a lot of people's rough edges. Some have reacted well, and others not so well. For me this has forced me to examine my life and relationship with God. It's helped me see that I have not been giving God the preeminence that He deserves in my life. Over social media I see Christians, many who are friends of mine, focused more on politics than God. My brother-in-law Dave Ray, a pastor in Ohio, put it succinctly: "We have made worshiping our nation equal to worshiping God." My care in being an American citizen is now way down the line in importance to me. I love my country, but just as I look in the mirror and see my own flaws, I see flaws in our country. Only a fool would ignore ways to improve themselves and those who feel our country has no flaws or ugliness is exercising "head in the sand" thinking.
So as I go on the IDBDR to relax and enjoy the Rockies, I will also be starting what I feel is a new chapter in my life: God first. I look back on the past 10 years or so and I can see His hand shaping me. I'm seriously okay with that and looking forward to what He's doing.