Monday, March 31, 2008


It is raining today. One of those great spring rains that cleans the air and the ground wonderfully.

When I was a child rain meant it was time to get muddy. Go out, jump in the puddles, splash with friends. Get good and wet.

As a teen, rain meant that baseball games were cancelled and football practice was muddy and fun.

At the last church we served, rain was a rarity. We lived in a drought struck land, and half and inch of rain in a month was a true gift, esp. for the farmers.

My view of rain has changed over the years. Depending on the situation, the experience, the place where I was. Different thought patterns for the same gift, for the same rain.

And for me, that is how it is with my faith as well. Over the years, my faith, how I view God and what he is doing in my life and in world, has changed. From the innocent child-like faith, to the searching to find meaning, to the challenege to share it. As I grow, learn more, and experience more, my faith grows and changes as well. Not the foundation - not my view of Jesus - but rather how it impacts me and the people around me.

Over the past year or so I have been nicknamed "Pastor Opportunity." This nickname came because I would present different "opportunities" for people to share their gifts in and through the church. This has become a cornerstone for where my faith has led me as of late. Knowing that I have certain gifts, and others have different gifts. All are needed for us to grow as a church and as individuals. So, when I see gifts in people, I offer them the chance to share their gifts in new ways.

And, over time, gifts change. Just as my view of rain has changed over the years, my gifts, and the gifts I see in others, change. They adapt and grow as God empowers us in different ways.

So today, as the rain continues to come down, I am thinking of the different ways God has used me in the past, and praying about the ways he may use me in the future. For God keeps coming to us, blessing us with gifts and his never-ending love, and empowering us to find opportunities to share those gifts with others.

1 comment:

Betty Dygart said...

It must be the mother in me...I do not favor children going outside and getting muddy, because it means dirty clothes, muddy footprints and just generally more work for MOM. However, I understand there are differences between boys and girls, and this appears to be one of them.

Rainy days to me are good days, because they make me introspective. Rainy days are good days to curl up in a comfortable chair to read a book. Rainy days, if you live on a farm, as I did when I was growing up, usually meant a day off from outside work, and tasks were found to complete inside the barns or sheds. These jobs might have been readying the machinery by oiling and greasing, or clipping the cows of their winter coats, making them cleaner and easier to keep clean as spring arrived.

My view of rain is definitely much more positive at this time of year than my view of snow. [Please let it be done!] It promises that Spring is not far away and soon flowers will pop up out of the ground. Already the birds are splashing in the puddles and hopping around my yard. Just watching them makes me happy.

As to opportunities, sometimes they come at the most unexpected times, from the least predictable places. I had such an opportunity today, when I returned to work after my Thursday and Friday off last week.

On my desk was a "letter to the editor" written by one of the volunteers for the Hanchett/Bartlett Homestead, owned by the Beloit Historical Society. This lady reported that someone had stolen the riding lawn mower out at the homestead, and that now they were going to have to forget doing some of the 'fix-up' projects they had planned, in order to replace the mower.

Well, I happen to have a riding lawnmower that I am not using, having replaced it with a larger one two years ago. There is nothing wrong with the machine, I just wanted a larger one. I kept it because I knew no one would give me what it was worth.

Now I can donate it to the Historical Society and it's a win-win situation. They are coming out to pick it up on Wednesday morning.

Out of every bad thing, something good comes, if you wait long enough. They are thrilled at the Historical Society and I am happy that I will have more space in my garage.

Every day brings new opportunities. Look for them and be ready to respond.