Head Over All Things

Yes­ter­day some­thing inter­est­ing hap­pened. As some of you may have noticed, I had a cou­ple of few new vis­i­tors leave a com­ment on my New Years post, the broth­ers David & Stephen. As you can see from those com­ments, both live in Indi­ana, Stephen in Bloom­ing­ton and David here in Con­nersville. As was told to me, David hap­pened upon Tim­o­th­y’s Bur­den via a Blog­ger search for “Con­nersville.” I had even noticed that refer­ral in my stats but cer­tain­ly did­n’t expect it to pan out as it did!

David, being a Reformed Chris­t­ian, was sur­prised and excit­ed to find that not only was I was a cit­i­zen of Con­nersville, but I am also a Reformed Chris­t­ian. He sub­se­quent­ly joked with me that he did­n’t think there were any oth­ers here in town. And then there was me. :) 

So any­way, David tells his broth­er, a Reformed pas­tor at the Church of the Good Shep­herd in Bloom­ing­ton, about the site as well. The con­sen­sus was that I must be tracked down. For those of you out there who are pri­va­cy-mind­ed or scared sense­less about the Inter­net, the fol­low­ing will prob­a­bly con­cern you. How­ev­er, as I will get to lat­er, I cer­tain­ly can­not share your concern!

With­in 604 min­utes, both of them had left a com­ment on my (at the time) most recent post, excit­ed about a pos­si­ble meet­ing. I come home for lunch breaks, so I read their com­ments some­thing like 2 hours or so after Stephen had left his. And now I was excit­ed. Reformed Chris­tians? Here? Wow! So I respond­ed via anoth­er com­ment as well as shoot­ing them both an email. I went back to work and pro­ceed­ed about my duties.

One of those duties, for the past cou­ple of months, has been cov­er­ing the stock-man (or, cart col­lec­tor) for his lunch break for an hour each after­noon. Yes­ter­day was no excep­tion, and so some­time between 1 and 2, I was col­lect­ing carts from the lot. The sec­ond time I went out to the lot, a man looked at me curi­ous­ly and start­ed walk­ing toward me. Oh great, he has­n’t even got­ten into the store yet, and he’s already com­plain­ing about some­thing? And what did I do? “Are you Rick?” That’s all it took for me to know that it was either Stephen or David, though I was amazed at how quick­ly they had shown up.

Turns out, they were able to deter­mine pret­ty much all of my vitals — my appear­ance, my job place, my func­tion there, and so on — just from what I’ve blogged about, and were so deter­mined to meet me, they both showed up at Wal­mart, from what I under­stand, inde­pen­dent­ly of each oth­er at the same time, walk­ing up to the build­ing at the exact moment I was walk­ing out. Now, the odds of that are prob­a­bly like a tril­lion to one (give or take a few…), but I don’t believe in coin­ci­dence. God orches­trat­ed the meet­ing for His glo­ry! We spoke for sev­er­al min­utes in the lot, leav­ing it ten­ta­tive­ly planned for Ali­cia & I to have din­ner with them and their fam­i­ly lat­er that day.

They had offi­cial­ly become the first peo­ple I have ever had the plea­sure to meet non-vir­tu­al­ly by way of Tim­o­th­y’s Bur­den. Amazing!

Any­way, I called Stephen and worked out the details for the meet­ing, and at just a few min­utes before sev­en, Ali­cia & I arrived at their par­ents’ house. Wow, what a beau­ti­ful house! I intro­duced my wife, and Stephen & David intro­duced twelve mem­bers of their fam­i­ly. I think there was a Joseph some­where in there, and with as bad as I am with names, I may be mak­ing that up! This sev­en o’clock meet­ing last­ed almost five hours, but it was a blast!

After din­ner and dessert, we enjoyed bil­liards, darts, and dis­cus­sion with a sound­track of some very eclec­tic music choic­es. I haven’t played pool or darts in sev­er­al years, and I’ve nev­er actu­al­ly played darts in the sense of keep­ing any kind of score. Turns out, I’m actu­al­ly quite good at pool; I could use quite a bit of prac­tice in darts, how­ev­er. I only missed the board once, though!

But it was the dis­cus­sion that was par­tic­u­lar­ly enjoy­able. There was much pas­sion and love for Christ and His Church in their words, in their lives. The focus on min­istry was amaz­ing. And as Stephen men­tioned in the com­ment he left here, there is a desire to plant a church here. Loca­tions have even already been looked at in the down­town area. And if it ends up being any­thing like what I read about on his church’s web­site (linked to above), “excite­ment” is an under­state­ment. Every com­mu­ni­ty needs a church with a pas­sion like these men described. To be a part of it, per­haps right from the get-go it seems, is a joy­ful thing!

Any­way, all that is a pref­ace to a very short post… I can’t remem­ber which one of them said it, but Eph­esians 1:22 was ref­er­enced, that says that Christ is the head over all things to His Church. The pre­ced­ing verse says He is far above all things, all pow­ers, all might, every thing that is named! I know I don’t think about that as often as I should. Under­stand­ing that truth is sim­ply inef­fa­ble. I can’t describe to you how mind-bog­gling­ly huge Christ is! How eter­nal­ly impor­tant is His rela­tion­ship with us and ours with Him!

Can I even wrap my mind around what Paul wrote to the Eph­esians? When I wake up in the morn­ing, Christ is Lord over that, and it occurs for His glo­ry. When I place mer­chan­dise on shelves at work, when I answer a ques­tion for a cus­tomer, when I come home for lunch or the end of my shift, when I write here, when thoughts come to my mind, when I pet my cat, when I spend time with my wife… All of it, Christ is Lord over all those things and innu­mer­able more, and all things are for His glory.

The meet­ing yes­ter­day. The tim­ing of a Reformed church being plant­ed and my accept­ing Reformed doc­trine. The sweet fel­low­ship that was instan­ta­neous. All of it. For Christ. For His Glo­ry. Soli Deo Glo­ria. I don’t believe in coin­ci­dence. God is sim­ply too big for it!

I believe God is work­ing. We may far too often fail to rec­og­nize it, but we are assured by the Scrip­tures that all things are for His glo­ry. Yes­ter­day was a great reminder of that promise. And while I can­not boast myself of tomor­row, I have no prob­lem mak­ing a boast in the Lord: Tomor­row — just like today, just like yes­ter­day — things will con­tin­ue to work togeth­er for the Lord’s glo­ry. Here in Con­nersville, in Bloom­ing­ton, or wher­ev­er else. Every­day. For­ev­er. For His glo­ry. And I rejoice in every­day lived know­ing that. (What’s bet­ter is that every day I live, I rec­og­nize that truth more and more!)


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4 responses to “Head Over All Things”

  1. Stephen Avatar
    Stephen

    Rick,

    It was a plea­sure to meet you and your wife. I def­i­nite­ly won’t believe you the next time you say you aren’t good at shoot­ing pool!

    One cor­rec­tion, though. David and I came to Wal­mart at the same time in sep­a­rate cars on purpose.

    This does­n’t deny the prov­i­den­tial hand of God in our meet­ing. Christ does indeed rule over all things (blogs, cars, emails…) for the sake of His church.

    Look­ing for­ward to see­ing you again,
    Stephen

  2. Colin Avatar

    *laughs* Why’d you come in sep­a­rate cars on purpose?

  3. David Avatar
    David

    Ah, Stephen need­ed to go to the library to work on a ser­mon. We decid­ed to dri­ve sep­a­rate­ly but I then went with him to the library. I can nev­er resist a chance to look around the place!

    Rick, let’s keep in touch! God be praised!

  4. Rick Beckman Avatar

    Okay, so it was­n’t as “coin­ci­den­tal” as I thought, but it was still rather amazing.

    Hon­est­ly, I did­n’t think I could play pool! No one in my fam­i­ly has ever had a pool table, and I only have a few mem­o­ries of play­ing it at var­i­ous places (friends’ house, a school rec room, Boy & Girls Club, etc.), quite some time ago. I cer­tain­ly was­n’t any good then, and I usu­al­ly asso­ciate prac­tice with get­ting bet­ter, not avoid­ance. :) Even still, I had fun and would like to play more!

    It’s darts that I was hor­ri­ble at, and on Fri­day I was back in sport­ing goods at work scop­ing out the dart boards, ready to buy. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, all we had in stock were the plas­tic, elec­tron­ic things that I don’t think look fun at all. As David said, it’s just got­ta have that ele­ment of dan­ger for it to be a real sport!

    Had a great time, and will def­i­nite­ly keep in touch, guys!

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Rick Beckman