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!)