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Accepting the peace of Christ...

A few days ago, I posted something about the importance of waiting upon the Lord. I must confess that I am a complete hypocrite in this regard. Yesterday I completely blew it.

And God put me in timeout. Twice.

Here's the skinny: I had to drive to a meeting of the Equitable Salary Commission in Lakeland, Florida. Its a stodgy name for a committee that I take quite seriously. In Florida, there are a number of churches that are unable to pay their pastor even a minimum salary. Very often these are poor congregations in economically depressed areas. Many of them are missional startups. In the Miami district, they account for most of the growth in worship attendance in the UMC; they are doing great work. The ESC meets to approve stipends for pastors so they can keep doing this vital ministry.

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OK, so I started out at 5:45 am for Lakeland. The meeting was at 9:30 am. That gave me a half hour of lead time; and I was comfortable with the schedule. But . . . somewhere outside of Orlando the rush hour traffic came to a complete stop. For about an hour.

ARRRRRRGGGGHHH!!!!

My response to this was eventually to pound my fist on the steering wheel and call for God to cast fire upon the city of Orlando. After an extended tantrum and much crying out to the Lord, a gap in the traffic opened up and I was able to exit I-4 and take some surface streets through Orlando. I was ebullient; I would only be late by a few minutes. I apologized to the Lord for my tantrum and reflected on how I needed to be more patient and long suffering.

But soon, traffic came to a complete halt again. For another hour. Everyone had the same strategy as I did; now the city streets we're clogged. And I pounded the steering wheel again . . . . And I was an hour and a half late for my meeting.

As it turns out, nobody really cared. Other members of the ESC were caught in the same jam. We all laughed about it. Big deal.

But it is a big deal to me. I have come to believe that when we are running late for meetings, when money is tight, when we are flustered by confrontation, or a when we have a minor fender bender . . . we get a spiritual snapshot of the state of our soul. Its a glance in the mirror just to show much the Peace of Christ has actually settled into our hearts.

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Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 04/14/2023


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