Saturday, September 22, 2012
46 Years Ago
This past Wednesday night on our annual Apple run to North Georgia, Lynn and I spent the night in Blue Ridge, Georgia. It reminded me of the first night I spent in Blue Ridge. It was 46 years ago. There probably was not even a motel in the town at the time. But, I did not need one as I slept in a home. I long ago forgot the name of my host, but I do remember they were members of the Blue Ridge Methodist Church. At the time I was a freshman at nearby Young Harris College and in their church as a member of a Lay Witness Mission. Back then lay folks from across a large area would come into a local church for a weekend of special services to share their faith in Christ. It was a new way of doing revival type ministry.
The Blue Ridge Church was the first place I shared my new faith in Christ. It was a place where I discovered what it was to be used by God in ministry. It was a place that gave to me a confirmation of a call to ministry which had been heard some months earlier, but prior to that weekend, no one knew about but me and God. As I remembered my first visit to Blue Ridge, I remembered a church which had long ago forgotten that I was there for a couple of days and, never knew that while there, I heard a divine Word which sent me forth to embrace the call God had placed upon my life.
My story is not an uncommon story. A lot of holy business is taken care of Sunday after Sunday in churches like the Methodist Church in Blue Ridge. Most of the time no one knows but the one who is sitting there and suddenly finds that God is speaking some Word which cannot be ignored. Such is why it is important that spiritual leaders take seriously every single gathering. Such is why undergirding every service of worship with prayer is an imperative. We simply have no way of knowing what God is about in the lives of those present. We can only be sure that He is about holy work which will change hearts.