Yes… the last few years have taken me down many unique and diverse roads and life situations. I used one of my old New Balance shoes for the picture in this article for a couple of reasons. First, they are a reminder to me of all of the places I have been and how I got to many of these places. This series of New Balance shoes are very comfortable on my feet and I cannot begin to guess how many miles / kilometers I have walked in them. I have literally worn out 3 pairs. I recall the times that I walked:
- to the fountains in Braila, Romania near the mayor’s office to simply sit on a park bench to pray and seek guidance from the Lord
- to slip away in the early morning at a conference in Kiev, Ukraine to prayerwalk with the Father in the cool of the day
- to quietly wonder through the beautiful fall colors of a remote location in Rehe, Germany during a week of refreshing and refocusing on the task ahead
- to make my way to the mission church where I served the Roma people of Brno, Czech Republic
- to stroll through the streets of Vienna, Austria with Dawn one evening as we sought a short respite from the pressures of ministry
- and now to simply walk across the parking lot to worship with fellow believers at the church (Woodland BC) that is providing the mission house for us to live in
These are nice memories and already they bring me much comfort as well as challenge me to continue walking with the Father along whatever path He chooses to lead us down. Since coming home to the US, I must confess that it has been difficult to remain focused on the simple fact that He is in control and that my focus must remain completely fixed upon Him. If I allow myself to be distracted too much by the opinions of man or misperceived circumstances… well, it is easy to lose sight of His plan and the circumstances that He may be unfolding right in front of me. So, pray with me that my wife and I will remain committed to God and His plan more than a systematic and compartmentalized methodology of “how you should do things” according to the opinions of men. Don’t think that last statement is a slam of anyone specifically… no. It is just the result of a change of venue, so to speak. When abroad, I had no other choice than to rely totally on God because I was so unable to minister to people in my own power and wit. However, here at home in the US, “we” have a mentality and systematic way of conducting church and ministry that sometimes focuses more upon our wit and skill than the power and guidance of the Spirit of God. I hope that statement didn’t offend your sensibilities too much AND of course it is not the case in all situations. However, if you have been in ministry for very long, I will bet that you agree with me.
Again, please continue praying with us to stay on task with God’s plan at the forefront. Pray that we will be willing to consider whatever door the Lord opens and that He will open the correct door sooner than later. Now, as a small side story about my trusty New Balance shoes… Since coming home, my favorite pair of shoes started having issues. This is the second pair of these shoes that had this issue. The little toe area has failed and the material used in this part of the show has sort of dry rotted and burst. The rest of the shoe is fine and still ready to go! Anyway, I just took a chance the other day and sent a polite email to the customer service folks at New Balance about the issue. I was open about how long I have worn the shoes and simply asked them to consider replacing them since this has happened two times to me specifically. To my pleasant surprise, they emailed me back and said they would be happy to replace them with a better quality shoe, the 759 series. Give thanks for small blessings! I hope you don’t think it odd that I would write about this experience here but it just kind of tied into the walking and shoe thing. Also, we often hear complaints about big companies who do not treat the public right… so, I think we should be sure to give kudos to those who do treat us right. A big thank you goes out to New Balance shoe company! I look forward to wearing this new pair of shows down many many more interesting roads in the future.