Friday, July 30, 2010

Golf and Missionaries

Oh my goodness! God has blessed me tremendously this week! And I know that no matter how hard I try, I could never tell you all the ways he has touched my heart, given me a big God-hug, and whispered encouragement and love to my soul this week so like the gospel writer John, I won’t try. I’ll only give a few examples that you might get a glimpse of how awesome God was to me this week.

In the beginning, which was about three weeks ago, a friend asked me a rather unusual, impulsive question. He asked me if I wanted to play in the New Wilmington Mission Conference Golf tournament with him. Those of you who know me should be sitting down when you read the next sentence. I said yes! I’ll give you a moment to let the shock wear off. For those of you who don’t know me, just know that my yes was the first miracle God performed in the grand adventure he took me on this past week. My plan was to go to the Sunday evening meeting so that I could familiarize myself with the long drive and the campus and then drive up Thursday for the tournament. I ended up spending a month’s worth of gas allowance since Sunday driving back and forth to New Wilmington for the evening meetings because I didn’t want to miss out on the incredible thing I saw God doing there.

Each evening I worshiped with hundreds of people from around the country and the world and heard some magnificent messages that reminded me that it’s not what I think I have to offer, which in my mind is very little, but what God does with it that matters. God calls us according to his will, not our qualifications, so “I can’t” and “I don’t know how,” just won’t work as excuses where God is concerned. When I can’t, he can and what I don’t know, he will teach me. My belief that even the smallest act of love when done in the name of Christ can and does impact the Kingdom in remarkable ways was confirmed and validated in story after story told by the missionaries of Christians all over the world. God’s love and joy were so rich in this place, I felt I could reach right out and touch it and hold it in my hands. Believe me, I will never hear the song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” in the same way ever again. The golf tournament was a great success and my teammates will always hold a special place in my heart and in my prayers.

Who could ask for more blessing then that! But wait -- there’s more! (No this is not a infomercial) I received one of the most precious gifts God has ever given me. Before I tell you what it was, I want to state unequivocally that it is not a knock on my own home church or the one I serve as an administrative assistant nor on my friends and family. For the very first time in my almost forty-three years, I felt truly and wholly connected to the people around me. There were no invisible barriers that separated me from them. I wasn’t on the outer rim looking in –I completely belonged! If I never feel that again, I have the memory of those few precious moments to hang onto – my own little glimpse of heaven.

Sometimes you have to travel far outside your comfort zone to see what God has waiting for you. It’s challenging and can even be scary but so very worth it! And to think it all started with a simple, yet uncharacteristic “yes” to a friend’s unassuming invitation to play a little golf.

Click here to learn more about the New Wilmington Mission Conference.
About the pictures:
Blackwater State Falls Park, WV (May 2010)


Anonymous said...

Be careful - first the conference, then the mission trip... and it will bless you in ways you can't begin to imagine!!

Maureen Profeta said...

It sounds like you are speaking from experience. I've been blessed with a really good imagination, so God must have something incredible in store for me! Thanks for the encouragement.