Transition from Vacation to Reality

John Wesley’s Sermon, The Character of a Methodist

  1. One who has the love of God shed abroad in the heart.
  2. One who cannot but rejoice, having peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ
  3. One who has the hope of immorality
  4. One who prays without ceasing
  5. One who loves and does good to neighbors and friends, strangers and enemies
  6. One ho is pure in heart and shows mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, long suffering and forgiveness
  7. One who seeks to please God and keeps God’s commandments

I have always said “returning from vacation is a trip back to reality.”  I am blessed my reality is easy to return to these days.  There were times when I wanted to stay on vacation forever, but God calls me back, there is work to do.  I was reading a post yesterday that said “Choose a Job You Love, and You Will Never Have To Work a Day in Your Life.”  That is what it feels like here at HUMC.

  

This year I did not travel.  No beach fronts, no visits with friends here in the midwest, no exotic cities, no trip to the mountains.  Just me at home, doing what I wanted to do, spending time with grandchildren.  So, no, these are not vacation pictures.

Now, back to my reality and in reading over John Wesley’s list of characteristics, I find myself reflecting, as I continue to strive toward the life of perfection, life has become easier.  I know perfection in this life is not attainable, yet, with the Lord Jesus Christ at my side, I will strive.

Now I find myself on the eve of the Franklin County Fair Parade, The Franklin County Fair, coordinating volunteers for the Chapel in the Pioneer Village, Vacation Bible School, The Mission Trip to Heifer International.  I would say that HUMC is doing ministry out in the world, yes, we may spend Sunday morning inside the church, the rest of the time we are out doing ministry, being the hands and feet of Jesus.  HUMC does so much more and I am blessed to be a part of this ministry!

In his sermon, Wesley ends with these words:  “Is thy heart right; and my heart is with thine?  I ask no further question.  If it be, give me thy hand.”

I feel my transition back into my responsibilities here at @Hampton United Methodist Church was smooth because God has made it so.

***  Side note:

Now, if you know me, I am often asking, “Does this make sense?”  What is going on in my head doesn’t always transfer into thoughts on paper or the spoken word as I would want them to.  So, for today, these are my thoughts and I thank you for taking the time to read, and please let me know if this makes sense to you.

4:29 PM

 

A year or maybe two years ago we prayed this prayer during worship here at Hampton  United Methodist Church.  A prayer right here, in our hymnals.  I thought wouldn’t it be cool if we stopped everyday at 4:29 PM and prayed?

I had what I thought was a ridiculous idea at the time regarding a way we could all pray together, everyday, no matter where we are.  So along with the many ridiculous ideas I often have I filed it away in the back of my mind somewhere in the ‘5 1/2 inches between my ears.’

Today, driving here (and I do enjoy my drives to Hampton, it is a great time for me and God to have conversation.  I don’t need a phone, so I can do this safely while I drive.)  I asked God to give me some thought or idea to share with my family here and can you believe it?  I remembered this prayer and the number I needed to find it.  Most  of the time I can’t remember what I was doing 2 minutes ago, let alone a year or more.  As soon as I hit the office, I opened up the hymnal to 429 and there it was!

Well, if you are still reading, here is my challenge to you, as well as myself:

Take out your cellphone, open it up to your clock, set the time for 4:29 PM, set an alarm at the softest, quietest sound you will be able to hear, set the repeat feature for everyday and save.  Now each day at 4:29 PM you will be reminded to stop and say a prayer.  Now let me say this again:

TAKE OUT YOUR CELLPHONE, OPEN IT UP TO YOUR CLOCK, SET THE TIME FOR 4:29 PM, SET AN ALARM AT THE SOFTEST, QUIETEST SOUND YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HEAR, SET THE REPEAT FEATURE FOR EVERYDAY AND SAVE.

I often end up having a conversation with God, like today.  I am so blessed that he reminded me of what must not have been such a ridiculous idea after all.  From today forward we, yes, we, you and me and however else accepts the challenge, we will lift up what is on our hearts and minds at 4:29 PM.  How powerful is that?